Cybersecurity is an essential strategy for all businesses, whether they are well-established or just starting out. After all, cyberattacks can harm a business’s reputation and brand image, leading to the dissolution of client trust. Companies are using all kinds of security tools and techniques to defend their business. If you are bothered by the increasing costs and with too many cybersecurity protocols and tools used in your day-to-day operations to protect against cyberattacks, then this is referred to as “cybersecurity tool sprawling.”
What is cybersecurity sprawling?
Cybersecurity sprawl happens when companies are using too many cybersecurity techniques to tackle and mitigate the risk of protecting their business operations from cyberattacks. Spending a lot of money on cybersecurity sprawl isn’t just wasteful, since installing many technologies to handle the risks isn’t an effective way to tackle data security.
The consequences of cybersecurity sprawling
According to a report by Gartner, a minimum of 45% of organizations will experience attacks on their software supply chains in 2025, which is three times the risk as compared to 2021. In order to help businesses protect themselves from cyber threats, businesses are starting to need new technologies. Companies are constantly managing their security tools to find fast solutions to mitigate existing cyber-attacks and ensure future cyberattacks can be avoided. This dilemma has resulted in cybersecurity sprawl, with organizations creating a number of cybersecurity tools in their systems to tackle new cyber threats. On average, companies use 40 different security tools, and it can go up to 130 in critical cases. It brings various advantages over using unconnected tools. Such a situation affects the organization’s operational costs and minimizes its security strategy efficiency.
The current security stack is overburdened by uncontrolled tool sprawl
Rapidly evolving threats like malware, phishing, SQL injection, ransomware, etc., have made it imperative for companies to focus on the adoption of security solutions. Most businesses use security tools without properly integrating them. This results in a cybersecurity tool sprawl that makes security inefficient, expensive, and troublesome.
Reducing the quality of your cybersecurity threat response
Cybersecurity tool sprawl can drastically minimize the quality of your threat response. For example, when your IT team responds to alerts and collects required logs from multiple security tools, it can take longer to decide the mitigation step to take when a threat appears. In addition, some tools have gaps that cybercriminals can control, especially if they are not updated. As a result, juggling around with too many cybersecurity tools can lower the speed and efficacy of your threat response.
How to combat cybersecurity tool sprawl?
Cyber tool sprawl must be retained under control for seamless orchestration of cyber investments to boost threat detection and accelerate compliance efforts. Let’s discuss the four steps to optimizing your cybersecurity tools and combating tool sprawl.
Identify your current security tool stack
Start by looking at your current cybersecurity tool inventory and the coverage and capabilities of your existing security solutions. Performing a full-scale inventory will allow you to identify and terminate redundant or underutilized security tools, thereby removing inessential, time-consuming, and expensive complexity.
Evaluate your exposures & effectiveness
Although you can trust that your security tools like Multifactor authentication (MFA), anti-virus, firewall, etc., are 100% efficient, is it really true? The answer is no, as you are required to evaluate your exposures and effectiveness by frequently analyzing gap and vulnerability assessments and performing penetration testing.
Integrate & consolidate solutions
Managing multiple-vendor purchased environments is monotonous and adds complexity. When point solutions don’t perform well together, this results in operational difficulties. Reduction of manual processes is crucial, and automation is obligatory to improve productivity. While you wouldn’t normally choose to reduce options, it’s important to remember that merging suppliers might increase productivity while decreasing overhead. Security tools from a single vendor are simple to supervise and create an ecosystem with fewer gaps, enabling you to ensure more with fewer tools. The easier it is for security tools to share data, the more you’ll have advancements in automating workflows and reducing the burden for security analysts so that they can perform only critical tasks.
Target your spending
When you are in the stage of purchasing new security technologies, analyze the new security tools with well-researched criteria and consider the following strategies,
- Ask whether you are scanning 60% of machines while doing a vulnerability scan. Also, check on how we can improve without making any additional investment in technology.
- A risk assessment and business case can ensure that the budget allotted for new technology is designed to target quantifiable risk reduction.
- Understand and analyze the full cost of the security tool investment. Does it require 25% of the work time of a full-time engineer to supervise? What are the operational expenses involved?
Analyze security technology. Make certain that your overall security program remains intact. Focus on the opportunities for orchestration and automation all the time to reduce manual work as much as possible. When you look for new security tools, conduct your due diligence, be judicious, and set a spending limit. All these strategies are meant to help you be economical and get maximum security.
In the last few years, cybersecurity threats and cybercriminals have been rising frequently, driving companies to install numerous security tools to mitigate and avoid threats. These threats result in affecting business in terms of monetary loss and minimizing customer trust in the services offered. As a consequence, cybersecurity sprawl has emerged as a bottleneck as it increases the workload and complexities of the IT team and also increases security investments. Evaluating current security tool inventory, security tool vendor consolidation, and other strategies are crucial for reducing cybersecurity sprawl and providing a seamless orchestration for cyber investments.