Where Simplicity and Cost Savings Meet Better Security

The debate over cybersecurity platforms versus “best-of-breed” point solutions has been a hot topic within the cybersecurity industry for years. Platform solutions have often been criticized for capabilities that are only “good enough,” while point solutions have inadvertently created a cybersecurity environment of unparalleled complexity. This has adversely impacted many organizations’ ability to respond to the latest threats. Platformization has become a pivotal component of any modern cybersecurity strategy with a focus on identifying ways to consolidate security functions to reduce complexity, while improving overall levels of security.

More recently, modern security paradigms, like Zero Trust, SASE and SSE, have further highlighted the importance of a more integrated approach and need for platformization. These requirements look like centralized management, consistent enforcement and unified monitoring. Now, as we enter the age of AI in cybersecurity, centralized high-quality data will take an important role to drive high levels of attack protection and a reduction in MTTR (mean time to respond). Given these imminent trends, how can organizations navigate this seeming contradiction between an integrated platform approach and best-of-breed tools?

Evaluate Individual Platform Capabilities

When looking at security capabilities that are important in your environment, do a direct comparison between capabilities within larger platform solutions and individual tools. A great example of this would be IoT security. Even though there are a number of standalone tools for providing IoT visibility and control, here at Palo Alto Networks, IoT security is a key capability within our Strata Network Security Platform. This gives our customers industry-leading visibility provided by a multitier ML discovery model, dynamic risk scoring and least privilege policy recommendations. However, as part of our network security platform, customers are able to leverage their existing management, and in many cases, avoid deploying new hardware typically required by standalone IoT offerings. This produces a win-win by upcoming best of breed capabilities within a fully integrated service that customers can simply turn on.

Understand the Ecosystem

A platform approach to cybersecurity has some significant and measurable benefits in the form of consolidation, simplification, cost savings and better security. However, even the most expansive security platform needs to be able to integrate with other third-party tools, or in many cases, legacy tools that will remain for an extended period of time. Here at Palo Alto Networks, we have a wide range of technology integrations with other security providers that make our three platforms even more powerful and simplify security even further for our customers. This gives us the ability to help customers reduce their security tools from an average of 40+ down to something more manageable (i.e., less than 10), which has a huge impact on cost and manageability.

AI Considerations

Developments in AI are already dramatically changing both the IT and cybersecurity landscape in a multitude of ways. Modern security infrastructure will need to provide visibility and control of organizational AI usage, enable secure integration of AI within the application development process, and effectively utilize AI to meet the newly enabled scale and efficiency of adversaries. A winning platform approach should leverage large amounts of high-quality data to drive better security outcomes within the organization, including the ability to “ingest” data from third-party sources at will.

Platformization — Getting Started

Platformization presents an opportunity to modernize and simplify security by doing a review of all cybersecurity tools and looking for ways to consolidate. As individual tools are consolidated into a platform approach, security teams will immediately start to benefit from simplified management, reduced training overhead, and overall, more effective security. Finally, organizations move to platformization, platform vendors should be evaluated against leading stand-alone solutions to ensure the ideal mix of platform-based and best-of-breed capabilities.

Learn how Platformization from Palo Alto Networks can help simplify and modernize your security approach.

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