Our research shows that on average, organizations have anywhere from 20 to 200 vendors involved in their tech ecosystems. When you add growing supply chains and constantly evolving bad actors to that mix, the challenge of securing your tech ecosystem may feel unending.

While threat actors aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon, addressing the challenges posed by a shifting tech ecosystem may be easier than you think — and it starts with a simple mindset shift. While many traditional approaches to mitigating risk try to fight change, companies that learn to adapt to changes in the tech ecosystem will have more success approaching new cybersecurity challenges and defending themselves against threats.

More Tech, More Money, More Problems in the Threat Landscape

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to protect your tech ecosystem. That’s because different factors within your ecosystem change frequently and independently of your business. Here are the top three issues we see security teams face in monitoring, managing, and defending their cyber ecosystems.

Bad Actors Pose Both a Quantity and Quality Challenge

Bad actors are relentless. They’re always looking for more sophisticated methods of attack to throw off security teams and break their way into tech ecosystems. Today, malicious hackers most commonly carry out successful breaches through:

  • Social engineering.
  • Zero-day exploits.
  • Targeted phishing campaigns. 

Here’s the reality: Active threats move through digital ecosystems every day at a pace and quantity that’s tough to monitor. Case in point: The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency (CISA) published 557 new CVEs in 2022 alone. 

Many security teams will spend endless hours monitoring the threat landscape and new threats in an effort to keep their organization secure. However, the sheer quantity and relentless nature of bad actors make this practice unsustainable, and even risks burning out the very teams working to keep things secure.

Supply Chains Are Growing — But Security Teams Aren’t

Organizations today depend on third-party vendors, partners, and tools to facilitate critical work cycles. But while supply chains have grown, security teams haven’t. In fact, security teams may even be getting smaller. Statista found that 86% of companies experienced a shortfall of skilled IT security staff due to issues with finding and hiring qualified talent.

This presents a significant workload challenge for security teams relying on manual processes (such as questionnaires) to evaluate the security practices and protocols of vendors across your entire ecosystem — and ensure those cybersecurity measures are up to their organization’s standards.

Human Error Can Be Unpredictable — and Costly

Cloud environments are ephemeral by nature. They can be spun up and broken down in an instant — which is great for productivity but not so helpful for maintaining security.

Work cycles have accelerated so quickly with the cloud that security measures are unfortunately often left by the wayside. Even simple misconfigurations can be devastating and expose sensitive data or resources to unauthorized access. Researchers at PingSafe found that 23% of all cloud security incidents are the result of a simple misconfiguration. What’s more: Those same researchers reported that 82% of cloud misconfigurations stem from human error.

What does this mean for security teams? Even those with a strong grasp of cybersecurity protocols and third-party risk management can find themselves putting out fires accidentally caused by coworkers. Not everyone at your company is going to be a cybersecurity expert, and organizations must take that into consideration when crafting their cybersecurity strategy.

How Security Teams Can Adapt to the Modern Threat Landscape

To overcome challenges in the current threat landscape, organizations need a mindset that embraces cyber resilience — or rolling with the changes as they come. Adding resilient processes to your cyber strategy, such as those that emphasize agility and flexibility, makes it easier to prevent financial fallout, streamline operations, and keep your company secure in the face of evolving bad actors, resource strain, and human error. 

Here are three critical steps that organizations should take to add resilience to their cyber strategy and successfully secure their shifting tech ecosystems.

Gain Access To Relevant, Real-Time Cyber Risk Intelligence

Cyber risk intelligence, unlike threat intelligence, takes into account an organization’s unique goals and needs — as well as the risks they’re willing to tolerate and the risks they need to avoid. When security teams are equipped with cyber risk intelligence, they can devote resources to monitoring and mitigating the risks that matter most to them and deprioritize those that don’t. 

With the right cyber risk intelligence in their hands, organizations can:

  • Prioritize their security efforts.
  • Customize their security measures for success.
  • Gain contextualized insights that motivate better security decisions.

Identify and Keep Tabs On Critical Vendors

To avoid getting drowned out by irrelevant data, security teams need to identify the vendors critical to their main business functions and focus on gaining intelligence on them.

Organizations can take the first steps in identifying critical relationships by performing an audit of all their tools, partners, and vendors: Who are you working with? What data do they have access to? And how significant would the impact be on business if this vendor was breached? A vendor audit should assess the potential concentration and cascading risks posed by different vendors.

From there, security teams can focus their resources on the vendors that pose the biggest risk to their business and spend less time on those vendors that present a lesser risk.

Don’t Do It Alone — Find the Right Solutions To Help

Security teams don’t have to be martyrs in a volatile tech ecosystem. Adding solutions — as long as they’re the right ones — can help security professionals keep environments and supply chains secure even as they continue to grow. 

What does a good solution look like? A good risk management solution is one that helps organizations pinpoint where and how to focus their security resources for better decision-making. Solutions that only offer a partial or broad view of risk will make it challenging for teams to act with the agility and flexibility needed in today’s evolving environments.

Get Smart About Security

Sometimes adapting to changing tech ecosystems is about learning to work smarter, not harder. One way to work smarter is to find the solutions that empower your security strategy to be more resilient. Those solutions should help your security teams adapt to shifts in the threat landscape instead of rigidly fighting against them. When security teams shift their security strategies to be flexible with constant change, they can gain the agility and flexibility they need to outsmart bad actors and stay ahead of threats.

Ultimately, securing a constantly shifting tech ecosystem comes down to getting the right cyber threat intelligence on relevant risks

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