Advantages of consolidation
By Lothar Geuenich, Regional Director Central Europe/DACH at Check Point Software Technologies
The management consultancy McKinsey expects that the number of employees working from home has increased four to five times compared to the time before the corona pandemic. As a result, the attack surface of companies regarding IT attacks has multiplied and the number of affected companies has increased dramatically. In concrete terms: the number of attacks increased by 40 percent in 2021 – that was an average of one in 61 companies per week.
To protect against this growing threat, security departments are increasingly using new products to protect networks, cloud infrastructures, IoT devices, as well as users and access. However, the combination of different products from several providers can lead to security vulnerabilities and operational effort. We therefore note a trend towards the consolidation of IT security solutions and welcome it. The decision-makers in the IT departments have long understood that working with too many providers at the same time is a disadvantage for both financial and security reasons. Consolidation thus arises from the need of companies to make their security architecture more efficient and to close different gateways. We surveyed over 400 CISOs worldwide to confirm this trend. 79 Percent of security professionals said that working with multiple security vendors was a challenge, and 69 percent agreed that working with fewer vendors would increase security.
This results in some advantages when a company consolidates IT security:
- Less effort: Managing individual licenses across the enterprise can take a lot of time, as each license must be purchased, tracked, and renewed individually. An ELA (Enterprise License Agreement), on the other hand, makes it possible to use a license for all provider services that exist in the company.
- Lower costs: An ELA is a large-scale purchase of services from a provider for a certain period of time. Compared to individual licenses, this is often associated with high discounts.
- Reduced impact on business: For individual licenses, a company must manage each license, which can lead to interruptions in business operations if a license falls through the grid and expires. With an ELA, a company only needs to manage one license, which reduces the likelihood that an oversight will lead to a disruption in operations.
- Less waste: In the case of individual license agreements, it may happen that a company accidentally acquires additional licenses for a product, while others remain unused or are used only occasionally. An ELA allows an organization to bundle services and thus stop spending money on unused services.
- Predictable expenses: In the case of an ELA, a company and a provider agree on a pre-determined price for the Provider’s services during the term of the ELA. This offers a higher degree of predictability of costs than individual user licenses.
- Flexibility of service: ELAS often include the ability to apply for credits for unused capacity that can be transferred to other services. In this way, an organization is able to better tailor its service consumption to its actual needs.
It shows itself: With a consolidated security architecture, almost every company runs better than with a jumble of individual solutions, which often communicate poorly with each other. This closes security gaps caused by misconfigurations and security policies that do not fully complement each other when using multiple providers. In addition, you benefit from the exchange of information about the threat situation when the solution protects the company across multiple networks, devices and applications. If a malware has penetrated via a certain attack path, it has no chance of spreading widely over the entire security architecture for this reason. Consolidation can therefore significantly improve the security situation, increase operational efficiency and significantly reduce costs.