How to Minimize Cybersecurity Sprawl

How to Minimize Cybersecurity Sprawl

Obviously, we won’t tell you to cut down on your cybersecurity. That said, it can be easy to overinvest and overreach if you aren’t careful about what you’re implementing. This phenomenon is known as cybersecurity sprawl, and if not prevented, it can easily have serious consequences for your business. Let’s go into how to avoid this sprawl.

But wait, you may be asking, why shouldn’t I implement every security tool I come across? Wouldn’t that just make my business more secure?

IBM Says More Does Not Equal Better in Terms of Your Security Tools

At least, that much was apparent in the sixth issue of IBM Security’s Cyber Resilient Organization Study, which is based on a 2021 survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute. This survey showed that organizations using 50 or more security tools were more vulnerable than those using fewer.

Why might this be? There are a few reasons:

Alert Fatigue Exists
Consider all the notifications that you receive daily. Chances are, there are a bunch that you automatically disregard and more or less ignore… right?

Alert fatigue causes this, and it isn’t restricted to personal apps. How long did it take for you to start skimming all the emails and newsletters you signed up to receive?

The more things that send an alert all at once, the more notifications each employee needs to handle. How long do you expect them all to deal with these interruptions before they subconsciously block them out? This only worsens when many notifications are redundant or repetitive, if not both. Alternatively, your team may spend more time dealing with all the alerts than they are being productive.

Either way, alert fatigue can and does cause significant problems.

More Tools Means More to Manage
Let’s consider a scenario where a business does everything it can to remain secure, adding more and more to its security stack as time passes. Again, it makes sense on some level: the more shields you have, the more protected you should be.

However, how many shields you have and how many shields you can maintain—especially as the former number grows—will be two different things. The likelihood of a critical security update being missed rises significantly as your various security tools and solutions are supplanted by others—and just like that, your protections suddenly become a vulnerability.

How to Improve Your Security via Consolidation

To reduce your cybersecurity sprawl and thereby improve your overall cybersecurity, some pruning will be necessary.

First, you need to audit the security tools—and while you’re at it, all programs—you have, noting which ones provide the most value to your business. As you do so, involve your team by asking them what they most frequently use as well. This will give you data to lean on as you go about eliminating anything that doesn’t make the cut.

The cloud can be your friend throughout your consolidation process, as multiple on-premise tools can potentially be replaced in favor of more inclusive cloud-based ones. This has the added benefit of allowing many consolidation practices to be automated, saving you and your team a lot of time.

Turn to Us for Advice on Your Cybersecurity

We can assist you in selecting and implementing the business tools that are the best fit for you, helping you to maintain them over time and adjusting your strategy as circumstances change. Let’s talk: give us a call at (603) 889-0800 today.

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