As cyber incidents rise and threat landscapes widen, more security tools have emerged to protect the hybrid cloud ecosystem. As a result, security leaders must rapidly assess their hybrid security tools to move toward a centralized toolset and optimize cost without compromising their security posture.

Unfortunately, those same leaders face a variety of challenges. One of these challenges is that many security solutions create confusion and provide a false sense of security. Another is that multiple tools provide duplication coverage and redundant capabilities. In addition, the cost of managing tools can exceed the return on investment, outweighing the benefits.

Amidst these challenges, rationalizing security tools is essential to keeping your security sharp.

Why conduct security tools rationalization?

Rationalizing the cybersecurity stack helps organizations assess their target cybersecurity capabilities against their current state. They can focus on deploying and maintaining the most effective tools. This enhances overall security posture and reduces the risk of security breaches. Potential benefits include:

  • Consistent security posture: By rationalizing security tools across the entire hybrid cloud environment, organizations can ensure consistent security policies and controls for on-premise and cloud environments.
  • Integration cost savings: Rationalizing security tools can help organizations eliminate redundant or unnecessary tools, resulting in cost savings. Organizations can also reduce the costs associated with tool integration and management by using fewer, more integrated tools.
  • Increased visibility and control: A centralized security management platform can provide greater visibility and control over the hybrid cloud environment. Organizations can improve their ability to respond to threats and ensure adherence to regulatory compliance and security best practices.

What are the challenges?

Security tools rationalization can provide many benefits. However, there are also several challenges that organizations may face when attempting to implement this process, such as:

  • Inconsistent security posture: Enterprises often fail to implement security tools consistently across the hybrid estate. Sometimes the tools aren’t configured properly, and business exceptions can lead to security gaps.
  • Integration of different security tools: A hybrid cloud environment typically involves a mix of on-premise and cloud-based systems, each of which may have its own security tools and technologies. Integrating these different tools and technologies can be difficult.
  • Compliance and regulatory issues: Organizations with hybrid cloud environments may need to comply with different regulatory frameworks, each with its own security requirements. This can make it challenging to maintain compliance and ensure all security controls are met.

How to conduct rationalization

Rationalizing hybrid cloud security tools is the process of evaluating and consolidating security tools and technologies in a hybrid cloud environment (on-premise and cloud). It requires a structured approach as outlined below:

  • Understand the current environment: Before beginning the rationalization process, gain a complete understanding of the current environment, threats the organization faces, mandatory compliance requirements and available security frameworks. Also, identify current security tools, capabilities and coverage gaps.
  • Define the outcomes: Clearly define the goals of the rationalization effort, such as reducing costs, improving efficiency or enhancing security and compliance posture. This can help prioritize the security tools to be evaluated and determine the criteria for selecting replacement tools.
  • Rationalize the security tools: Determine which tools will replace the ones being removed. Consider how the replacement tools will fit into the hybrid cloud environment and integrate them with other tools and technologies. Weigh the use of cloud-native cloud security tools designed for the cloud environment. These tools may be more effective, easier to use and less expensive than traditional security tools.
  • Measure the effectiveness: Implement the new security tools and monitor their effectiveness over time. It may be necessary to adjust the toolset with the evolving nature of security threats or the hybrid cloud ecosystem.

IBM Security Services can help you modernize your approach to hybrid cloud security by rationalizing the security tools that align with your cyber risk and compliance posture. To find out more, visit our website.

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