For organizations looking to defend themselves more effectively against cybersecurity threats in 2022 and beyond, creating unity is a key to their success. The various factions and teams that exist within many cybersecurity programs today need to come together and collaborate more closely in order to meet the oncoming assaults launched by a growing number of bad actors.

Organizations in various industries are looking for new ways to digitally connect with their users and supply chain partners by quickly adopting new technology while at the same time maintaining their legacy investments. The goal is to increase agility and improve user experience while keeping costs steady.

This brings about challenges for the security team. There are more remote users, cloud services, mobile devices and business data to protect. In short, it’s a larger attack surface than ever. Plus, teams have to learn about new security technologies.

The good news is that the modern security organization is fueled by intelligence, advanced technologies and more knowledgeable professionals than any other point in history.

Unfortunately, at many organizations there exists a misconception that individual groups must fight threat actors on their own. That includes groups within the cybersecurity program. As a result, security leaders have been facing a set of challenges around a lack of unification; difficulty in providing broad access to security data; and the existence of functional siloes that lead to failed threat responses.

Breaking down barriers

The most mature security teams today are those that are successfully moving from a reactive to a proactive state by building a collective defense. This stems from a collaborative approach that breaks down internal and external siloes, resulting in greater threat visibility and more strategic prioritization of work in the security operations center (SOC).

When barriers exist between cybersecurity factions, they rob organizations of the ability to leverage incoming security data that can enhance their ability to find and stop threats early.

A new Forrester study, which was commissioned by Cyware and based on a survey of 339 cross-industry global security leaders, illustrates the common data access challenges in the modern SOC and the impact of siloed security operations on threat response efficacy.

One of the key findings giving Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and SOCs insights into how they can improve security strategies in 2022 is that a unified collective defense is crucial for SOC success.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) note that sharing cyber threat intelligence between their organizations’ SOC, incident response and threat intelligence teams is limited. These findings demonstrate that security operations teams cannot succeed without access to and a centralized view of the data from other cyber and IT applications within their environments.

CISOs must better understand the technology and data access challenges preventing their SOCs from enabling the holistic defense needed to secure modern organizations.

The research also shows that data siloes are a top obstacle preventing collective defense. A majority of the security leaders (71%) said their teams need access to threat intelligence, security operations data, incident response data and vulnerability data. But 65% of the respondents said they find it very challenging to provide security teams with cohesive data access.

Among the top obstacles to unifying technologies are a lack of cross-team collaboration (55%), data siloes within security teams (47%), discovering and accessing data (45%) and functional siloes within security (45%).

These common hurdles shine a spotlight on the need for organizations to better unify their security teams, processes and technologies to bolster defenses and more proactively defend their information assets. A unified collective defense foundation is crucial to ensuring that organizations remain viable.

Another key finding of the research is that security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) technologies will be crucial to cybersecurity strategies in 2022 and beyond.

Because of difficulties unifying data access, security teams and security technologies, respondents report several consequences tied to hazardous defense issues, including slow threat response (60%), avoidable data breaches (57%) and avoidable human error (53%). In addition, organizations have experienced financial impacts because of a lack of security unification and automation, such as high mitigation costs and increased cybersecurity spending (51%) and fines and compliance issues (45%).

As attack surfaces continue to expand and evolve across the market, organizations need to maintain a coordinated and collective defense. As they look toward goals for 2022, cybersecurity leaders need to be prepared to make the business case that automation and unification are business-critical objectives that need to be achieved.