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The cybersecurity landscape is complex and dynamically evolving. Disruption and threats are rife. Cybercriminals are becoming more determined and attack vectors more sophisticated, while changing models of work are opening up new avenues of vulnerability and risk.

To navigate the hybrid and multicloud landscape securely, organizations are looking for stability and certainty in their network. A unified, resilient and dynamic security architecture, underpinned by refined tools and techniques, is the only way to address the challenges of a traditional siloed approach to security.

NTT’s 2022 Global Threat Intelligence Report, based on global attack data collated from 1,500 organizations (mostly NTT clients) and more than 800 billion logs processed per month, analyzes the security landscape, its risks and its challenges.

It flags a 30% increase in hostile activity, with web-application and application-specific attacks on the rise and accounting for 72% of all attacks, up from 67% the year before. A new vulnerability was registered every 24 minutes in 2021, with a total of 21,957 vulnerability disclosures for the year – the highest on record.

Siloed security fails to protect against modern threats

The problem is that organizations still have a siloed approach to cybersecurity, which is inadequate against modern-day cyberthreats. Usually, this comes down to organizational structures. Different security tools may have different custodians: the firewall falls under the infrastructure team, application security under the cybersecurity team, and data-loss prevention under the risk department, for example.

Organizations need to integrate these stakeholders and their tools to operate as a single platform, or else they may limit one another and create more complexity than is needed.

Many recognize the gaps inherent in this approach (including limited visibility, delayed manual problem-detection and a reactive response) but aren’t sure how to use their existing security tools to address these gaps. They just don’t know where to start.

This is understandable: organizations have to find the right solution among a multitude of products and services that promise the same thing, then still need to optimize that solution to deliver the right layers of security for their unique operating environment. In this regard, a lack of expertise is one of the biggest hindrances to organizations achieving holistic security.

Better security isn’t always more expensive

Of course, one of the most prominent security-related issues is cost. But it’s a misconception that achieving a unified security architecture is expensive. When organizations consider their internal skills gaps and perceptions of the complexity of security, they are quick to assume that taking a holistic and unified security approach is costly and complicated, as it requires the constant coordination of stakeholders to achieve even a modicum of transformation.

The reality is different. Yes, there are costs attached to unifying a security architecture, overcoming the obstacles inherent to legacy systems and pulling together the security threads that run through an organization. However, a focused move toward a unified system that breaks out of silos and offers more visibility can lead to measurable cost savings.

Such a move allows an organization to rapidly identify gaps and vulnerabilities, streamline security costs and systems, and redefine roles and responsibilities. These steps tangibly reduce the cost of talent, systems and risk while introducing a far more agile and scalable security posture.

Go integrated to weather the storm

When you take an integrated approach, you can protect your multicloud or hybrid-cloud infrastructure across all endpoints with controls that span the network level, firewalls, workloads and applications – all in the context of a unified, standardized platform and approach to security enforcement.

A managed security service provider has the right tools to refine your architecture across these touchpoints while overcoming skills gaps (you can rely on their expertise to manage your network environment) and ensuring that your security tooling is relevant to your organization.

A holistic and cohesive security architecture delivers visibility, control, significantly improved compliance and a robust security posture. It also makes your organization resilient enough to weather the cybersecurity storms that lie ahead by rapidly finding vulnerabilities without inhibiting your productivity and flexibility.

Read more about NTT and cybersecurity.

Lloyd Oandah is Technical Solutions Architect at Dimension Data East Africa