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Enterprise Security: Why SMB Solutions Don’t Cut It

Patch Management Smart Automation

Are you using the right security products for your enterprise-scale organization? If you’ve ramped up operations over the years, chances are your security tools haven’t kept pace—and that leaves you vulnerable.

Think of your enterprise-scale organization as an apple orchard. Any orchard contains a variety of trees. Picture small trees and big trees, strong trees and shriveled trees, trees that are picked over, and trees that are huge and robust and glowing with shiny red apples. Which kind of tree would you want???

If you’ve built your organization right, your environment is full of the shiniest, reddest apples, and every hacker out there wants a bite. And today’s cybercriminals are not just small-scale hackers: With million-dollar payoffs, these are big threat actors (large organizations, nation-states) raking in big money.

According to a 2020 Security Boulevard article, even though the average cost of a breach for Fortune 1000 companies was only around $200,000, losses incurred by 10% of breaches exceeded $20 million. That’s big money. 

Hackers today, by and large, aren’t bothering with small players anymore—they’re going straight for the top organizations. The same article states that “there’s about a 20% chance that one of the top 250 organizations will report four or more cyber loss events,” while for the bottom tier, this figure is under 2%.

With that kind of threat level, you need strong fences around your enterprise-scale “orchard.”

Yet chances are, if you’ve scaled up to get to where you are today—or if you aim to reach enterprise-scale someday soon—the security tools you’re currently using don’t scale well and can’t keep your enterprise safe.

Let’s look at some of the unique challenges for enterprise networks and why security products designed for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMB) often can’t cut it. Then we’ll explore criteria for truly enterprise-ready products that will help your organization stay ahead of the threats.

Unique Threats and Challenges to Enterprises

You already know that IT in the enterprise environment is much more complex than it is for a smaller business. As your business grows, complexity increases almost exponentially as you bring together multiple teams and tools and integrate multiple processes across different geographic locations.

For one thing, you have an urgent need to secure endpoints that never physically enter your workplace—and that often exist only in virtual form. With the cloud, your organization can attain nearly infinite expansion, spawning resources on-demand, but maintaining security settings is hard across a constantly changing network of devices.

Some of the unique challenges of securing a cloud environment at enterprise-scale include:

  • Data spread across a variety of physical locations worldwide
  • Possibility of cloud blackout/outage
  • Little or no visibility into storage and/or backup processes, no access to physical media
  • Shared physical machine storage with unknown users, risking a security vulnerability
  • Difficulty enforcing uniform user access policies

Also, when you’re working at enterprise-scale, even when you’re dealing with on-premises devices, you may be responsible for a huge range of legacy and hybrid environments and apps.

In addition to this, it’s simply a basic truth that having more digital assets—intellectual property and customer databases, for example—makes your organization a bigger, shinier apple for hackers to want to pick.

The vast complexity of running IT security at this scale underscores the need for a solution that is specifically geared toward your needs as an enterprise.

Small Security Products Don’t Fit Big Business

It seems a shame to turn your back on small security products, especially when there is so much innovation going on in the field. Lots of startups are popping up with incredible products that promise to automate and relieve the burden of security and keep your sensitive data safe in numerous ways.

But how well do those solutions scale? Unfortunately, having an innovative idea, or even translating that idea into a useful, exciting product, doesn’t mean that the solution is ready to roll out across your enterprise. Security solutions designed for SMBs very often…

  • Demand too much hands-on interaction
  • Raise too many alerts to handle at large-scale
  • Lack the flexibility for your complex, diverse environment
  • Don’t integrate with other products
  • Either don’t work well with the cloud or fail to accommodate legacy systems (when you need both!)

Plus, a security product not designed well for scale may cause unforeseen problems, like network logjams caused by dozens or even hundreds of hosts all attempting to download the same update simultaneously. The biggest challenges of working at enterprise-scale come with this increasing complexity. 

For instance, user identity and access management is a relatively simple problem for an SMB, but it can become a nightmare for an enterprise. Within an SMB, especially with on-premises machines, it’s easy enough to define new users with appropriate permissions as they’re onboarded. But for an enterprise, especially with a cloud environment, identity and access control is far more complex. One Ponemon study showed that “87% [of enterprises] believe that individuals have too much access to information resources that are not pertinent to their job description,” and three-quarters of these organizations said they could not keep up with employee access needs. Something as basic as user access permissions cannot be allowed to fall through the cracks.

Another example of massively increasing complexity at scale for a shockingly basic function is patching. Patching within an SMB is very different from the same operation at the enterprise level. An SMB usually has fewer endpoints to protect within a much simpler IT infrastructure. Also, within smaller businesses, IT and security are usually run by a single team, usually within the same time zone and often on the same physical premises. All team members collaborate well, generally using only one or two tools to complete the task. An enterprise, on the other hand, will have a constantly expanding range of endpoint hardware and software, with users accessing the network at all hours, from all over the globe. 

These routine functions have one thing in common: They are relatively simple for SMBs and highly complex for enterprises. On top of this, security products that claim to solve some of these issues may actually be making things worse by giving you a false sense of security. 

JetPatch Covers Your Enterprise-Scale Needs

The example of patching is particularly appropriate because staying up to date and taking care of vulnerabilities as soon as they’re identified is an organization’s first and strongest line of defense against hackers. 

What enterprises have in common with SMBs is that the core of their security program must center around patching and vulnerability remediation. 

This sounds simple, but as a Tripwire article explains, once you’ve scaled up to enterprise-level, it’s another matter entirely: “Enterprises cannot go about installing patches blindly without understanding potential impacts of the change brought by a patch. Patches have a history of breaking things, and when things break in the enterprise, chaos ensues.”

When enterprises attempt to address the complexity of patching at scale with a product not designed to do the job right—however innovative and exciting it may be—they are simply adding to that chaos. In order to qualify as a truly enterprise-level security solution, it must meet three basic minimum criteria:

  • Orchestration – keeping the entire environment in sight and under control
  • Intelligence – helping the IT security team make mission-critical decisions based on critical factors like patch testing
  • Automation – removing steps that rely on humans pushing buttons (which is critical)

JetPatch offers the best of both worlds. It gives you the benefits of a startup solution, including innovative, modern features like predictive patching, smart workflow, intelligent automation, and business insights. But you also get unique insights into enterprise security based on years of experience working closely with enterprises.

Over the years, we‘ve honed our patching solution to fit the unique needs of an enterprise. We’re not afraid of scale; in fact, JetPatch is designed to scale with you, no matter what stage your business is at today.

Make sure your security solution can keep up with your organization’s growth. If you are an enterprise or aim to get there someday, JetPatch has you covered.

Shai Toren
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