DevSecOps

What is Cybersecurity Mesh?

What is Cybersecurity Mesh?

Introduction

The surging rate at which businesses and people are adopting different cloud-based technologies and microservices is a matter of concern. It’s because, now security isn’t limited to the systems used within an office or by specific employees anymore. It has gone beyond the walls of a premise and demands all-around coverage. 

In this article, we are going to talk about a modern digital safeguarding strategy for Cloud that addresses this far-reaching and omnipresent AppSec issue. We are talking about Cybersecurity mesh here. Let us explain everything related to it, one by one.

Learning Objectives

Cybersecurity Mesh definition

In the past decade, technology use has increased commendably, and now enterprises rely upon IoT devices, cloud technology, remote workers, internet, and so on. An effective method, called Cybersecurity mesh technology, covers the safety of all.

It involves using security practices wherever and whenever it’s needed (in Cloud’s context). In simple words, this cloud security method that focuses on creating a flexible security-oriented architecture that utilized safety or risk-mitigation arrangements without causing any delay. It scope could be include distributed systems/components and much more.

Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture

Abbreviated as CSMA, its purpose is to promote interoperability among all the stand-alone security-related products so that they all work towards designing a trustworthy and all-inclusive digital safety policy for enterprises. It focuses more on protecting every technology endpoint separately. 

CSMA encourages businesses to give more priority to a centrally-managable security mechanism that has various components integrated for various purposes.

CSMA achieves this goal by:

  • Strategizing ways that encourage fragmented creation of policies for communication and collaborative working. These fragments help in designing of a dynamic and all-inclusive policy.
  • By coming up with a more customizable security posture coud be altered as the digitization’s pace increases. 
  • Improving the organization’s defensive stand. It including introducing tools for continual monitoring and early mitigation of risks.
  • Generating an ecosystem that promotes the swift and need-based deployment of key security aids digitally. 
  • Removing replicated tasks and letting organization save money and efforts, while deploying the people/resources in better security or non-security operations.
Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture
Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture

Why do businesses need it?

As the cloud computing picking up, having a hold on more resources have become essential to remain functional outside the pre-defined periphery. 

While devices like IoT tools and WAN work outside as well as within the office premises, they can’t be left out during security implication. This is why any network-specific methodology needs to function beyond the actual premises or physical locations occupied by a business. It should reach out to every security node and save them against with potential threats like DDoS, ransomware, or phishing. 

If these attacks aren’t well taken care of, then one can end up losing a huge sum.

As per a recent study, enterprises are losing nearly $6 trillion per year because of their vulnerable nature and cyber attacks. This number is only growing.

That’s not the end of it. In fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg as the dangers of cybersecurity are way too extensive than this. These facts and figures will help you understand the importance of cybersecurity mesh in today’s digital and vulnerable world.

With time, digital dangers have become more prominent. As per a recent report, attempts to phishing have increased 600%, while a ransomware attack is taking place every 11 seconds. In 2021, there were 66 reported zero days attacks, which is almost double what was happening in 2020. 

A mere addition of cybersecurity mesh enables organizations to deal with all sorts of attacks. With its presence, it’s easy for enterprises to deal with every on-surface and hidden cyber-world vulnerability displaced all across the cloud. That’s the best approach to design and implement the plan for securing the fragmented IT components digitally. 

By making security policies agile and flexible, the mesh ensures that all the technology access points are safeguarded and controlled from a unified point. The introduction of advanced threat intelligence & response technology has made it more desirable in times of cyber vulnerabilities. Its reach or periphery isn’t limited to cloud security. It covers many leading and business-critical technology initiatives taken up by an enterprise. 

A few promised cybersecurity mesh benefits that comes with its effective implementation are:

  • It covers third-party services/tools/applications used by an enterprise. It’s obvious for enterprises to use multiple third-party tools as a part of feature-boosting policy and improved service delivery. The mesh covers all the third-party tools while keeping the security investment on the lower side.
  • It supports the building of recent distribution channels that are required for swift services and product delivery at reduced cost and improved security. the process requires new tools and having separate security policies for all the tools included. This comes at a higher cost and has the odds of certain loopholes. With this security-oriented digital mesh, you can cover everything at the same cost.
  • It supports flexibility. Every new opportunity-seeking business needs its security policy ready to adapt and implement any changes without wasting a single moment. Only Cybersecurity mesh is capable of unlocking this high-end flexibility for businesses. so, future-proof organizations would obviously want it.

Cybersecurity Mesh and Cloud Security

If the words of Gartner are to be believed, the technology of mesh-creation is going to be the biggest trend for 2022 after data fabric. Experts can’t think of designing an impactful and effective strategy when zero-trust is not taken into consideration. so, you must know how these 2 are related.

The Zero Trust Strategy

If analyzed at a deeper level, it’s understandable that cybersecurity mesh is the base for a zero-trust policy. Just as it puts its focus on a single access point’s security and does not trust the overall security, the zero-trust strategy doesn’t trust the device by default. Rather, it enforces individual authentication approaches on all the intended devices and resources. 

Both zero trust and cybersecurity mesh security practices try to fill the gap that perimeter-focused security policy creates. They both work beyond the devices/resources deployed within a defined periphery and ensure that a security viewpoint is possible at the network layer as well. 

By deploying both strategies, enterprises can protect the network layer and reduce the overall cybersecurity risks. After all, this layer, often ignored in shallow/low-penetration security approaches, accounts for nearly 34% of cyber breaches/leaks. 

A cybersecurity mesh, using the zero trust for user authentication, is useful for early emerging threats detection and remedial. While the mesh makes sure that all the components are enjoying equal attention, zero trust ensures that every access isn’t considered trustworthy by default and is going through a security check before reaching to the network.

The Applications 

Each application of this technology promotes the scalability, adaptability, and flexibility of an organization’s security approach. Let us explain it to you through cybersecurity mesh examples: 

Consider this - For a SaaS product, security policy management can be made a preference and the development process can continue adhering to it. It will make the solution securer, as we have kept security as an indispensable part of IT development operations.

Additionally, this approach is an opportunity for enterprises to advance the security ecosystem and integrate it directly with the network layer.  

Once security is implemented extensively in the network layer, it becomes easy for organizations to safeguard incoming and outgoing network communication. Ultimately, the network layer becomes more protected. This further encourages:

Smooth journey to future security

When the network layer is secured, it's easy to identify seen or unseen future security risks and fix them before they become too damaging. It also promotes integration such as API safe usage possible and makes customization doable than before. This way, enterprises become foresighted and are ready for the future in a better way.

Shutting down security gaps

With cybersecurity mesh, it’s easy for enterprises to understand the latest and upcoming security trends and implement them easily. When security is so much updated, possibilities are very high that there are no security gaps and early detection of weaknesses and vulnerabilities is done.

End-to-end security implementation

The four layers of CSMA, when implemented correctly, ensure that every single security issue is well taken care of and nothing is missed out. It’s a comprehensive security package that no one can ignore.

Zero Trust architecture
Zero Trust architecture

The 4 Layers of CSMA

While CSMA’s adoption is the best possible way to ensure every resource is secured, this is only possible with a deeper understanding of CSMA. It’s made up of four layers, each one responsible for a specific task and responsibility. Here is a crisp explanation of all those four layers.

  1. Security Analytics and Intelligence

This layer promotes centralized administration of vast data. Entire data that is used for all the IT systems will be collected, sorted, and analyzed in real-time. Doing so allows enterprises to enhance their risk assessment abilities, risk mitigation, and threat response. 

The layer is responsible for collecting data from key threat resources and analyzing them accurately. Based on the analysis data, CSMA fabricates a swift threat response strategy. 

  1. Distributed Identity Fabric

Using this layer, enterprises can earn capabilities related to adaptive access, identify proofing, decentralized identity management, and directory services. 

  1. Consolidated Policy and Posture Management

This layer is responsible for effective posture management. To make this happen, CSMA translates the at-place cybersecurity policy into the foundational outline of every security tool. By doing so, this layer helps enterprises to do an effective compliance risk assessment. 

  1. Consolidated Dashboards

Using the Dashboard, CSMA provides detailed visibility of the implemented security approach. The data present on the dashboard is sorted out and is ready to provide deeper insights on security-related tasks.

Cybersecurity mesh and IT development

Cybersecurity mesh technology plays a crucial role in IT development by supporting the implementation of password-protected perimeters. With the establishment of this, enterprises ensure that every access-seeking device has to go through an extensive security check before reaching the network layer.

However, it may result in multiple rearrangements and re-configuration. Despite it, passing the knowledge of cybersecurity mesh to developers in the IT field is encouraged so that they could priorotize the system security even before the IT infrastructure’s construction starts. This way, IT ecosystems will become more security-intensive and supports flexible development.

Implementation of Cybersecurity Mesh 

While there is no second opinion that this mesh’s implementation improves organizations’ security posture and improves its standing in the security domain, the success in their venture depends on its effective implementation.

To ensure that its implementation is done in a result-driven manner, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Always keep interoperability and threat intelligence as the top priorities. The mesh implementation, done with these two approaches, leads to early attack detection and minimized risk.
  • Implement role-based access no matter what. This ensures that no unauthorized access is granted to the system and sensitive data remains safe. 
  • Implementation of biometric and two-factor authentications strengthens the security standing of the systems and improves the cybersecurity mesh’s potential.
  • File actions should be restricted. Only administrators should be allowed to download the documents. Others must access files in read-only mode so that needed information can be obtained. It keeps a stop to unwanted data access and keeps mission-critical data protected. 

The Final Word

When the network layer is not protected, perimeter-based security holds no value. With cybersecurity mesh, it’s easy to elongate the perimeter-based security policy so much so that it can safeguard the network layer as well. So, adopt this practice today and enjoy all-inclusive security.

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