Dashboard with graph and icons showing security tools and threat detection

Do More with Less – Strengthening Existing Security Tools to Optimize Threat Detection Posture

Over the past few years, the fluctuating state of business and the economy has caused organizations to make difficult decisions regarding budget allocation and prioritization. For security teams, this can seem particularly problematic, as having the funds to protect sensitive data, critical systems, applications, and other assets continues to be a top priority amid today’s ever-evolving threat landscape.

While there’s a light on the horizon and economic circumstances are expected to improve, businesses are still finding themselves resource constrained and forced to make budget cuts to stay afloat. As the attack surface for corporate environments continues to expand, it is imperative that security teams do not allow budget limitations to impact their organization’s ability to stay fortified.

How many tools are too many?

When faced with heightened risk of threats, a common misconception is that more is always better. However, adding new security tools alongside existing systems and technologies is not a universal solution. Doing so without the proper optimization of the technology already in place can result in several complications, including integration challenges, duplication of effort, and incomplete risk assessments. Each security system adds an additional layer of complexity to an organization’s overall security infrastructure; if existing systems are not working properly, introducing new ones can make the environment more difficult to understand and manage. Along with being time-consuming and costly, the incorporation of new security tools also requires new personnel to maintain the operations of these new systems, which can result in even more constrained allocations of time and money.

Maximizing operational efficiency

Amid current circumstances, one of the most efficient and cost-effective choices security teams can make is to learn how to do more with less. A large part of this is ensuring that the systems and tools already in place are optimized and working to the best of their ability. To do so, it can be beneficial to identify the most common attack paths and locate where the flaws are likely to reside in an organization’s system. One way to do this is by measuring against an industry standard framework like MITRE ATT&CK, which tracks the most common attack techniques and tactics used by malicious actors. Organizations can utilize threat modeling to test the strength of their security infrastructure and gauge how well they are configured to defend against these common attack paths. The proactive identification and resolution of potential vulnerabilities ensures that an organization’s existing infrastructure is foundationally sound and configured to effectively prevent breaches.

At Gartner’s Security Risk & Management Summit 2023, the firm predicted that over 60% of security incidents over the next five years will come from misconfiguration errors. This means that an overwhelming number of breaches will be the result of programs and systems that have been set up incorrectly, have not been consistently maintained, and are not functioning properly. With the right actions, these incidents are entirely preventable.

Instead of adding another layer on top of what already exists, companies can position themselves to be better prepared for security-related incidents by consistently monitoring for potential errors and improving current processes to ensure that their existing security infrastructure is being implemented in the most optimal ways. By allocating the time and resources to monitor, strengthen, and optimize the tools in use and the security controls in place, they can avoid increased complexity without losing sight of their greatest pain points, from where an overwhelming majority of risk can potentially derive.

By improving threat detection coverage and reducing any complexity or confusion surrounding visibility management, security teams gain additional flexibility and insights to monitor the security of sensitive internal and client data, allowing for the reduction of risk and vulnerabilities related to the business-critical systems. This ensures that all systems are configured properly, and hidden detection gaps and blind spots are eliminated wherever possible. Furthermore, automating these processes allows for detection and posture management to be done in a predictable and programmatic manner, which yields the development of more offensive methods of security management. Prioritizing the performance and effective implementation of systems that are already in use removes the stress associated with handling these operations on both a manual and ad hoc basis.

Going back to the basics

The cybersecurity industry is constantly evolving, with new tools being created and released on a daily basis. Although it can be easy to get caught up in the novelty and buzz surrounding these new technologies, it isn’t always in a company’s best interest to continue adding to their tech stack before spending time to ensure that the current systems are being utilized to the best of their ability. Before considering what else can be added, it is important to remember that new technology is useless to an organization’s security efforts if the tools already in use are not optimized.