Cybersecurity Mesh For Network Security

Why Cybersecurity Mesh?

Today, computer networks are becoming more complex and distributed, making detecting and responding to security threats increasingly difficult for organizations. It leads to a security sprawl that complicates management, and visibility and limits an organization’s ability to effectively respond to threats. These days organizations are using various security solutions, but they operate in silos, which makes centralized management impossible. Detecting and responding to security incidents need coordination across these isolated tools. To mitigate the situation, complex workarounds need to be in place and those solutions need to be constantly managed and then reconfigured whenever a tool is upgraded. This and similar challenges related to complexity and integration make cybersecurity mesh architecture vital for today’s organizations.

Also, the competitive digital marketplace is forcing organizations to rapidly adopt new technologies across networks including clouds. We often witness organizations move first and then think about securing and managing their environments. “Accidental multi-clouds” is a known example of it. In such scenarios, security teams may end up dealing with mashups and complex patchwork deployments. It could create a perfect storm for attackers and threats. To solve similar challenges, organizations should change their “best-of-breed” cybersecurity approaches to adopt a Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA) as the foundational building block. CSMA can help organizations combine their patchy infrastructure and deployments, creating cohesion and enabling collaboration and automation across various products and solutions deployed across their environment.

What is Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA)?

CSMA is a set of recommendations issued under a governing philosophy that security tools must play together. It allows organizations to extend their security controls to dispersed assets. It has been observed that the gap of interoperability between security tools has been widened and there are significant wasteful overlaps in what they are trying to achieve. In the Cybersecurity Mesh framework tools are being presented in the IT environment as an integrated, wisely planned out part of a greater whole.

CSMA comes with a dispensed architectural approach that offers an integrated, flexible, scalable, and reliable security control. For instance, in the case of IoT, most of the assets are residing outside the traditional security perimeter. Cybersecurity mesh can define the security perimeter around a person’s or thing’s identity. This novel approach provides a more systematized, responsive security that averts hackers from lateral movements in the network.

Cybersecurity Mesh Strategic Benefits

  • The cybersecurity mesh model will support the majority of IAM requests from digital assets, identities, and devices that exist outside an enterprise. It will offer more integrated, flexible, scalable, and reliable digital asset access points and better perimeter protection
  • Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) will play a crucial role as service partners for enterprises to implement comprehensive IAM solutions and drive IAM application convergence
  • To identify legitimate users and address common weaknesses, large enterprises will implement identify proofing tools in the workforce identity life cycle
  • To provide privacy, assurance, and pseudonymity for managing identity, a blockchain-based true global, portable decentralized identity standard will emerge in the market
  • Identity-proofing vendors will minimize demographic bias concerning race, gender, and other characteristics

Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture Approach

CSMA visualizes implementation of highly interoperable security tools going through four layers that facilitate collaboration among security controls.

Four layers,

  1. Security Analytics and Intelligence: It processes historic data of past cybersecurity incidents to inform upcoming action and trigger responses
  2. Distributed Identity Fabric: It offers decentralized identity management and directory services
  3. Consolidated Policy and Posture Management: Discrete security tool policies can be integrated into a greater unified whole
  4. Consolidated Dashboards: A single pane supervision for the whole security ecosystem

Final Thoughts

Cybersecurity Mesh is a cyber defense strategy that provides better network security over traditional security models. It uses a holistic approach to secure an IT environment and independently secure each device with its perimeter. CSMA suits and gains popularity with cloud solutions and remote work that geographically dispersed devices and machines in a network. Gartner predicts CSMA as one of the top security and risk management trends and can reduce the cost of security incidents by roughly 90% over the next couple of years.

Author Details

Sajin Somarajan

Sajin is a Solution Architect at Infosys Digital Experience. He architects microservices, UI/Mobile applications, and Enterprise cloud solutions. He helps deliver digital transformation programs for enterprises, by leveraging cloud services, designing cloud-native applications and providing leadership, strategy, and technical consultation.

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