In the last few years, most organizations had to accelerate their digital transformation to continue operations during the pandemic. However, as more software, applications, and data architectures were added to the technology stack, the number of tools implemented to secure these assets became unmanageable. The result is an increasingly disparate collection of tools that actually hinders rather than helps cyber resilience. In the CyberEdge 2022 Cyberthreat Defense Report, poor integration and interoperability between security solutions were cited as a top inhibitor to establishing effective cyberthreat defenses.
For this reason, forward-thinking CIOs and CISOs are moving away from disparate point solutions to investing in platforms. Platforms enable organizations to simplify operations, accelerate time to value, and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), maintenance and manpower.
The power of platforms is well understood today, driving mass adoption. However, at Imperva, we recognize that platforms are no longer used in isolated environments. The increasingly complex IT environment means platforms today need to be connected and integrated with many solutions to perform at peak levels. For that reason, we’ve taken steps to evolve our own data security platform to become a fabric. A fabric provides capabilities that can leverage more flexibility, with more platforms and architectures. Imperva Data Security Fabric (DSF) is the unification of data-centric tools, platforms and services. It provides a unified approach and flexible capabilities that can be leveraged across various data types, structured, semi- and unstructured data; on-premises, hybrid and multi cloud environments and in support of a myriad of standards, governance and compliance frameworks. It also supports 65 platforms and more than 260 built-in security integrations. The result is an automated data security solution that enables users to gain complete visibility into all their data, no matter where it lives.
Investing in a security fabric makes good business sense. But purchasing a platform or fabric solution and implementing it properly to reap all the benefits are two very different things. This is where many organizations fail.
Why? The three most common reasons are:
- They fail to properly plan the implementation
- They fail to maintain the platform/fabric and evolve with it
- They fail to upskill their staff
If you have a security platform or fabric, or intend to invest in one, here are some important steps you can take to avoid these failures and get the most out of it for the long-term.
- Develop a comprehensive implementation plan: If you make the decision to invest in a security platform or fabric, be sure you develop a comprehensive plan for implementing it out across the organization. Identify all the relevant use cases and how the platform will be applied to each of them over time. This is also the best stage to start engaging the other stakeholders that will be involved in the roll-out and adoption. By engaging them early and ensuring they are bought in, you have a much better chance of success.
- Define a governance and accountability framework: The old proverb “you reap what you sow” rings true when it comes to maintaining a platform. If you want to get the best out of it, have a good governance and accountability framework defined, and be sure it’s implemented. This includes the creation of rules and processes for how the solution will be used and the clear allocation of roles and responsibilities. It should also outline the checks and balances that will be in place to ensure these are followed. This process is especially critical if you are outsourcing the management of your solution to a third-party.
- Stay up-to-date with changes: Like all technology, platforms change over time as features and functionalities get added, removed or refined. If an organization wants to get the most out of their investment, they need to stay up-to-date with release notes and version upgrades and be sure they adapt accordingly.
- Invest in ongoing staff training: Having the best technology in place is useless if you don’t have people who know how to use it. That’s why it’s critical to not only train your staff when you first bring on a new security solution, but also continue to upskill them as technology changes and as people move around. Be sure your new starter training program is up-to-date and whenever a new update is released, check if additional training is needed.
- Make your security solution provider a strategic partner: You should see your solution provider as an expert advisor. The most valuable partnerships occur when the vendor and customer work closely together to get the most out of the solution. If you keep your partner updated on your plans and requirements, they can show you how to tailor the solution to drive the business outcomes you need. A good vendor partner will also be proactive in keeping you up-to-date on the latest trends in the threat landscape and how their solution can help defend against new threat vectors.
These steps are critical in realizing the long-term investment of your security solution and will deliver the protection you need, as well as tangible business outcomes including cost reduction and improved efficiency.
We’ve spoken a lot here about the power of platforms and how to get the most out of them. However, as mentioned previously, Imperva has evolved its own data security platform to become a fabric. You can learn more about how a fabric works and our journey in developing the Imperva DSF in this blog.
The biggest benefit we see from having a Data Security Fabric in place – beyond what we have already discussed – is that you can be comfortable in the knowledge that this fabric is “wrapped around” your business critical data and the architectures they use, providing a strong layer of defense for structured, semi- and unstructured data across cloud, on-premise and hybrid environments.
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