Upcoming Webinar: Cybersecurity Mesh and Adaptive Security Architecture

With threats from every vector and an increasingly complex regulatory and privacy landscape, it can be difficult for organizations to stay informed and up to date with the ever-changing trends. However, ensuring your organization has the most relevant and updated strategies, techniques, and tools to strengthen your security posture and protect against cyber attacks is a necessity. No matter what your organization looks like, your security strategy should emulate some key concepts and practices found in the top cybersecurity trends of this year. After all, they’re trending for a reason. Let’s break down two trends that are addressing common cyber threats and filling security gaps across industries. 



Cybersecurity Mesh

Gartner describes cybersecurity mesh or cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) as “an architectural approach to create a collaborative ecosystem of security tools operating beyond the traditional perimeter.” It involves the “meshing” together of different technologies and security strategies so they work together to secure digital assets and access points. Cybersecurity mesh was created in response to a few different changes in the cyber landscape: 

  • The traditional perimeter is gone. Many applications and data are no longer in the company-owned data center, and users are accessing cloud-based applications from anywhere. The former castle-and-moat method of cybersecurity is now outdated and is not equipped to handle the risks that stem from decentralized digital environments.
  • Most security technology tends to be siloed in the problems they solve. These tools work in isolation from each other, solving their own problems with minimal crossover with other tools to solve the overarching issue of preventing threats from all vectors. 
  • Organizations tend to use services from more than one cloud provider. And each cloud provider supports a different set of access policies (rules around who can have access to certain assets) among its users, so creating a consistent security posture across cloud providers is challenging. When access policy isn’t consistent, it puts digital assets at risk of being exposed to a user who shouldn’t have been granted access. 

The cybersecurity mesh architecture model suggests finding opportunities for integration within your existing security solutions, and when evaluating new solutions, making sure they’re able to integrate with other technologies. With digital assets, users, and access points all scattered and decentralized, a decentralized and flexible cybersecurity approach is necessary. Here’s how a cybersecurity mesh strategy can look at your organization: 

      • Choose tools that are composable, collaborative, and have flexible APIs so they can be configured to work with other tools and can meet your security goals and needs. 
      • Move away from VPN access and instead, embrace a zero trust network access model. This model can be integrated with an access management tool to granularly restrict access and prevent lateral movement within a network.
      • Transition access and security controls to cloud-enabled and location-independent controls that can secure anything anywhere at any time.


Adaptive Security

The adaptive security model features four different components: prediction, prevention, detection, and response. It works like an autonomic biological immune system that reacts based on what’s happening within the “body,” aka an organization’s digital environment. Cybersecurity mesh is an important aspect of this model because tools need to be able to collaborate, communicate, share data, and adapt to thwart potential threats. 

The model leaves behind the idea of a traditional network perimeter (where in the network was safe, and everything outside, unsafe) and instead assumes there is no boundary for safe and unsafe. It’s a mindset shift that anything that can happen — will happen — and your organization must plan to respond accordingly. Here’s a brief breakdown of each component of the adaptive security model and how your organization can “adapt” this new framework. 

Predict: The prediction element is all about assessing risk, anticipating threats, and understanding your current security posture. In this stage, you should define threats and threat characteristics that should be avoided or destroyed so your systems know what to look for. Also have a good understanding of where threats are coming from so you can predict where your framework might be most vulnerable. Is it your supply chain? Is it through software? Have you experienced malware or ransomware in the past? Lastly, review the systems, processes, and safeguards you have today and determine if your baseline security is enough to meet the minimum security requirements you want to establish for your business. 

Prevent: This is where you need to harden systems and introduce risk-based security approaches into your strategy. Essentially, you need to tighten the security controls and isolate critical systems and assets so they’re inaccessible by lateral movement within your network, cut off any possible attack, and limit the “blast radius” of the attack. Zero trust network access (ZTNA) is the most effective way to do this. 

Detect: Detection involves recognizing threats and containing security incidents through continuous monitoring of users and digital access points and assets. Define triggers within systems and applications to monitor for threats and, as necessary, invoke an auto-immune system response. These “immune response mediators” are the threat detection sensors that alert the larger IT infrastructure of potential threats and prime the threat response mechanisms.

Response: This component is where threats and attacks are addressed, remediated, investigated, and analyzed. It’s the auto-immune response that the adaptive security model boasts. Your team should define a recovery process or incident response plan where systems are adaptively reconfiguring as they respond to various threats and attacks to meet the security need. And be ready to adjust your incident response plans based on the threat experienced and what you’ve found while investigating and analyzing threats.

Although these two security approaches have unique characteristics, the strongest security model will incorporate elements of each. The beauty of these frameworks is that they’re all dependent on cohesiveness between technologies to create the most robust and effective security structure possible. It’s no longer a matter of silos. The best way to build a safety net is by weaving together all the different elements that will secure an entire enterprise, from identities to credentials. 

To dive deeper into these important topics, and to better understand how your organization can implement these strategies, attend SecureLink’s webinar “Top Trends of 2022: Cybersecurity Mesh and Adaptive Security” on April 27. More information and registration can be found here