Even before the global pandemic introduced new security challenges to organisations,
CISOs were dealing with a complex security landscape. Technology stacks for security have
evolved into a jumbled mix of point solutions as security teams address multiple threat
types from a variety of endpoints, apps, services and networks. As CISOs pivot to prioritise
around post-COVID-19 security strategies, it’s a good time to revisit ways to streamline
and strengthen security environments. Rather than cobbling together individual point
solutions, consider a more integrated approach that provides comprehensive protection
and enhanced capabilities for today’s workers, with tools that take advantage of
intelligence and automation capabilities to simplify management and reduce risk.
Deliver unified end-user experiences for greater security
Consolidate security with a more cost-effective
Reduce cyber risk with integrated, best-in-class protection
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 4
As the security landscape evolves, with new threats cropping up almost daily, security
teams face a heavy burden to keep pace. In some cases, technology has added to
the challenge instead of mitigating it. A complex mix of siloed, single-point security
solutions are time-consuming to deploy and inevitably lead to a patchwork of consoles
and reports that are difficult to monitor and manage across the enterprise.
In a study by
Forrester Consulting, 59% of organisations acknowledged the challenge of correlating
security alerts from disparate technologies to detect threats. “Reducing the number of
disparate security point solutions that must interact with each other – particularly older,
legacy ones – brings complexity down to a manageable level,” the study notes.¹
In addition to reducing complexity, a consolidated solution can improve your overall
security posture by filling gaps created by a lack of integration across the technology
stack. For example, a separate study by Forrester Consulting found that organisations
deploying Microsoft Defender for Office 365 P2, which provides a holistic, integrated
approach to security, reduced the likelihood of a security breach by 60% and decreased
the time required for investigation and remediation of security incidents by 89%.
with a more costeffective solution
¹‘Security Through Simplicity,’ Forrester Consulting, December 2018.
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 5
60% decrease in time
required for investigation and
remediation of security incidents
89% reduction in the likelihood
of a security breach
Another benefit of vendor consolidation is improved cost management – a critical
consideration in these extraordinary times, when every penny counts. In a recent
study by CIO, 75% of IT leaders expect IT budgets to remain flat or decrease in the
next 12 months and 45% expect to be spending more time on cost control and
expense management in the months ahead.
“We recognised the best-in-suite value of Microsoft 365 E5 not just from a security
perspective.… We realised we could get everything we needed with one licence.
If we had used separate vendors, it would absolutely have cost more, in addition
to the complexity of managing multiple products and contracts.”
– Doug Howell, Director of IT, The Little Potato Company
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 6
Deliver unified enduser experiences forgreater security
CISOs have long known that security is only as strong as individual users across the
organisation. More than two-thirds (68%) of organisations in a recent survey by
Cybersecurity Insiders believe they are vulnerable to insider attack and less than half
(42%) said their ability to monitor, detect and respond to insider threats is very or
Insider risk includes the unintentional leaks that may occur due to overly complex
security tools and policies. The shift to remote work makes it imperative to provide
easy-to-use tools for securely accessing data, apps and systems from any location.
Modern security tools provide strong, secure access to applications while removing
the traditional friction points that can inhibit productivity. A seamless single sign-on
experience provides quick access from anywhere to the dozens of applications users need
daily to perform their job duties. And it can save users an average of 10 minutes per week
and save the organisation USD 2.9 million annually, according to Forrester Consulting.
of organisations in a recent
survey by Cybersecurity
Insiders believe they are
vulnerable to insider attack
said their ability to monitor,
detect and respond to
insider threats is very
or extremely effective.
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 7
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) is one proven method to address the dreaded password
reuse issue. It’s well known that users often reuse passwords across multiple accounts,
which flies in the face of good security hygiene and also puts an organisation at greater
risk of a security breach. Passwords were tied to 80% of breaches in 2019, according to the
2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
Another option that’s gaining favour is to remove the password entirely. Passwordless
methods such as Microsoft Authenticator, Windows Hello and FIDO2 security keys provide
a simpler and more secure authentication experience across the web and on mobile
devices. Based on the FIDO2 standard, these methods enable remote users to authenticate
easily and securely without requiring a password. Windows Hello uses biometrics,
providing a convenient option that is three times faster than using a password.
MFA and passwordless access are just two examples that represent a broader shift from
perimiter-based defence to identity-based management and a Zero Trust security
model. Using identity as the control plane lets organisations treat every access request
as untrusted until the user and device are fully verified.
“If you make security hard, people may work around it. With Microsoft 365, we
get native capabilities, visibility into our operational environment and simplicity
for all employees.”
– Simon Hodgkinson, Group Chief Information Security Officer, BP
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 8
80% of breaches in 2019were tied to passwords
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 9
Reduce cyber risk
with integrated, bestin-class protection
Poor security posture is often rooted in complexity. Security teams have historically
struggled to keep up with threats and signals across a patchwork of poorly integrated
solutions that fail to cover the breadth of workloads, clouds and devices that businesses
run on. A consolidated tool set can improve your organisation’s overall security posture
by reducing complexity and integrating protection across the enterprise. An integrated
solution will also help security teams more effectively deploy and leverage automation
and AI technologies to further improve protection.
Automation is critical for modern threat protection, in part because it can help
correlate, consolidate and analyse an often-unwieldy volume of alerts for anomalous
behaviour, particularly now that much of the workforce is outside the office. For
example, the AI and automation capabilities in Microsoft 365 Defender reduce alert
triage and correlation by 50× on average, empowering teams to more quickly detect
and respond to threats.
The cloud has given rise to a new generation of modern security tools that simplify the
defender experience by combining signals and automating responses to catch threats
that would otherwise go unchecked. The most important emerging tools are cloudnative Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) and Extended Detection
and Response (XDR). Most vendors only offer one or the other.
How a consolidated security stack can reduce your risks and costs 10
Microsoft offers a unique approach that empowers security professionals with both
cloud-native SIEM and XDR tools from a single vendor. This brings a new level of
integration that gives defenders the best of both worlds: end-to-end visibility across all
of their resources and intelligent alerts built with a deep understanding of individual
resources, enhanced with human and machine intelligence.
Microsoft 365 Defender provides best-in-class real-world detection according to a
MITRE ATT&CK evaluation, which found that the Microsoft solution provides:
Microsoft SIEM and XDR solutions can help reduce ‘alert fatigue’ significantly –
as much as 90% in some Microsoft evaluations.
Nearly 100% complete coverage across
emails and docs, endpoints, identities
and apps across kill-chain stages.
Leading out-of-box visibility into attacker
activities to dramatically reduce manual
work for the security operations centre.
“Going with a best-of-platform security approach from Microsoft was the right
choice because of the rapid innovation across the platform.”
– Erik Passchier, Global Head of IT Infrastructure, Rabobank