Cybersecurity platform consolidation is the strategic integration of diverse security tools into a single, cohesive system. Driven by the need to manage an increasingly complex security environment and security technology sprawl, platform consolidation offers numerous advantages but also carries certain risks. Understanding how consolidation fits into your organization’s security strategy is essential to planning and realizing its potential value.
In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into platform consolidation, looking more closely at the benefits it can provide, the risks it may pose, and how artificial intelligence (AI) might play a significant role in the process.
Let’s begin with a detailed definition of what consolidation entails.
Cybersecurity platform consolidation defined
Cybersecurity platform consolidation is an organization’s strategic process of unifying disparate security tools and systems into a single platform. Instead of managing multiple stand-alone tools — each with its own interface, rules, and reports — an organization adopts an integrated approach. This approach yields a holistic view of its security posture and streamlines the management of its security infrastructure and operations.
Some of the factors that drive the demand for consolidation include the following:
- Overlap of functionality: Many separate tools offer similar or overlapping functions, causing unnecessary redundancy and inefficiency.
- Gaps in security coverage: Different tools fail to communicate or work together effectively, resulting in coverage gaps.
- Cost reduction: Consolidation can help reduce the costs associated with purchasing, implementing, and maintaining multiple security solutions.
- Easier management: Working with a single platform simplifies the tasks and workflows involved with monitoring the organization’s security status and responding to threats.
By providing holistic visibility and a centralized command center for cross-domain operations, platform consolidation enables organizations to be more equipped to counter the rapidly evolving sophistication of today’s adversaries. A consolidated security stack enables organizations to more rapidly and more confidently detect, prevent, and respond to these threats.
Benefits of security tool consolidation
Consolidating cybersecurity platforms brings much more than just operational efficiencies. Consolidation offers several strategic benefits, significantly helping organizations improve their cybersecurity posture.
Advancing security practices
Platform consolidation advances an organization’s security practices by improving the integration and communication between different security tools. Today’s adversaries are exploiting multiple domains when they coordinate attacks — 80% of attacks now use stolen credentials, and cloud-focused tactics increased 3x from 2021 to 2022, according to the CrowdStrike 2023 Global Threat Report. To counter this, it is essential to have cross-domain security defenses. This enables organizations to stitch together events occurring across their environments and map them to known adversary tactics and emerging threat intelligence. Doing so allows them to detect suspicious activity early in the kill chain — reducing mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to repair (MTTR) — and with high levels of confidence, minimizing false positives.
Historically, disparate tools place the burden on analysts to compile and analyze siloed context between tools to perform incident response or threat hunting, creating a fragmented and more sluggish response. When these tools work together natively — leveraging common data schema and adding telemetry to the same underlying data corpus — organizations can unearth deeper insights, more rigorously train machine learning models, and take an adversary-focused approach to their security.
Moreover, by dealing with a single platform, an organization can dedicate more resources to strategic initiatives rather than dividing attention across disparate systems.
Enhancing security management and simplifying operations
At the basic level of business operations, consolidation reduces the time and effort required to manage multiple vendors’ solutions. Working with a single platform (and a single vendor) eases the burden on IT staff, freeing them up to focus on more strategic tasks. Additionally, working with a single platform simplifies employee training, as employees only need to become familiar with one security platform. This reduces a new team member’s mean time to productivity.
Finally, cybersecurity platform consolidation significantly reduces the complexity that comes with managing multiple security systems. It also reduces technical debt and the risk of errors. By eliminating the uncertainties that can arise from a multi-platform setup, security operations become more consistent and predictable. Furthermore, by assessing activity across multiple security domains, organizations can benefit from higher-fidelity detections and accelerate incident response.
The role of AI in cybersecurity consolidation
AI enhances the effectiveness of security tools and makes managing them more efficient.
Tactics and techniques
AI-powered protection is a force multiplier for today’s security teams, enabling organizations to bring scale, speed, and deeper insight to their cybersecurity efforts. Through machine learning (ML) algorithms, AI-powered tools can detect patterns of activity and anomalous behaviors that would be challenging for humans to identify — even in the case of unknown or never-before-seen attacks.
Automation and intelligence
AI can also enable teams to automate routine tasks such as patch management, vulnerability scanning, and compliance checks, freeing up security teams to focus on strategic and higher-value tasks. This drastically improves operational efficiency while reducing the risk of human error.
Finally, AI-powered tools can learn from past incidents, adapt to new threats, and make predictive analyses. Predictive analytics can result in the implementation of proactive security measures. With these capabilities, organizations can anticipate and mitigate threats before they can do harm.
As cyber threats evolve, managing security tools to combat these threats is growing increasingly complex. For many organizations, the solution to this complexity is cybersecurity platform consolidation. By bringing harmony and integration to their security tools through the adoption of a single security platform, organizations are enhancing their ability to manage security and combat threats. On top of this, they can adopt platforms that leverage the latest in AI/ML technologies to level up threat detection capabilities and proactively mitigate risks.
The CrowdStrike Falcon® platform is a single, unified cybersecurity platform that leverages world-class AI to bring your organization real-time indicators of attack and state-of-the-art threat intelligence. From continuous vulnerability scanning of cloud workloads to endpoint detection and response, the Falcon platform helps organizations manage security across their environments and infrastructure — all in one place. Try the Falcon platform for free today.