July 24, 2024

Security Pix

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Consolidation is coming to corporate security technology

4 min read

Those old enough to remember the software industry in the 1980s might recall some names from days gone by: Lotus 1-2-3, Harvard Graphics, :ccMail and WordPerfect. At its peak, Lotus 1-2-3 had an overwhelming market share and had won the spreadsheet wars. WordPerfect was the enterprise standard for word processing and :ccMail was one of the dominant email systems of the decade. And Harvard Graphics? As the first presentation software to gain widespread acceptance in business, its impact resonates in every slide deck ever seen.

Today, only WordPerfect still exists, albeit with a more specialized focus. These products and brands weren’t merely replaced piece by piece. They were supplanted by a company that had the foresight and conviction to invest in a common foundation and purpose-built each application so that they connect both to the foundation and each other. In this case, that consolidator was Microsoft, and its product, Microsoft Office, was less expensive. From a finance and procurement perspective, managing one vendor relationship was much easier than three or more. 

Technology within the corporate security industry is ripe for consolidation and a better way to operate. The size and scope of global businesses mean that enterprises face a growing number of threats across a broader range of dimensions and channels. To manage and address these threats, corporate security teams rely on a tech stack that is growing larger. But there’s no solution that brings everything together, just a series of disjointed tools that don’t always work together. The cost of those tools, in multiple ways, is adding up. 

In an industry where fragmented tech stacks have swelled over time, consolidation of tools saves time, saves money, and reduces risk for security teams. To reap the substantial benefits of this, it’s important for executives to effectively manage the strategic and operational benefits that consolidation could bring proactively.

A global threat perimeter

For an example of how the role of corporate security teams has changed, think back to March 2020. Few organizations had an epidemiologist on staff. The task of tracking the emergence of the virus that causes COVID-19 fell to threat analysts in many companies. As they monitored outbreaks at overseas factories to get early visibility into supply chain disruptions, their colleagues in executive protection were monitoring the situation for impact on travel planning. When offices closed, security teams took on more responsibility, trying to find ways to ensure safety for essential workers whose jobs required them to work on-site, as well as the shift to remote and hybrid work.

The pandemic was just one area where security teams gained added responsibility, but it was not the only one. As cybersecurity has become a focus of boards and the C-suite, insider threat investigations have emerged as a major security department subspecialty, straddling cyber and physical security as organizations seek to protect intellectual property. Security teams often have a role in executive travel, site security, supply chain security, geopolitical risk and natural disaster response. Broadly, security teams operationalize the organization’s duty of care. 

Today, security professionals use advanced digital tools for global situational awareness, research public records, identify vehicles, manage incidents, investigate cases and so much more. Sometimes they work in one platform that does one or more of these tasks, sometimes the software has overlapping capabilities. Frequently, security personnel are specialists. They don’t use some of the software at their disposal, even if the team as a whole needs all of the tools. As a result, security teams are not only spending more time on investigations as they toggle between screens and point solutions, but they’re also likely spending more money than they have to. 

Save time, save money, reduce risk

Consolidation gains momentum when it can save time and money for users. That was shown with the consolidation of spreadsheets and word processing software into a single suite of office applications. Lately, the trend has focused on consolidation of solutions in specific corporate functions. 

For users, consolidation unified multiple information streams into one unified and connected solution. A consolidated security platform has the potential to revolutionize how security teams collect and connect data, act on threats and mitigate risk and collaborate with other key stakeholders in their businesses. It also reduces the total cost of ownership meaning teams have fewer tools to license and vendors to manage. 

Consolidation results in massive efficiency improvements, saving time that security teams can use to be more proactive and identify areas of risk before they erupt into a full-blown crisis. This has far-reaching ramifications because once security teams become proactive, they can start to address stakeholder concerns across and within their businesses. They could predict and preempt threats, streamline operations, and enhance their strategic impact across the organization. It’s about elevating the role of security from a necessary function to a strategic partner in their business’s success. 

In this new era, the security team’s insights and actions become as crucial to the health and growth of the company as any other department, making them indispensable to the execution of the company’s vision and objectives. The consolidation of technology helps them to get there.

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