For nearly two years, industry insiders have been talking about widespread security stack consolidation, but only time could tell how IT and security leaders would implement and instrument it. Today, data security posture management (DSPM) is changing the way that leaders are recognizing and prioritizing risk mitigation. I sat down with Eldon Sprickerhoff, cybersecurity industry veteran and Chairman of Cavelo’s Advisory Board, to learn why and how DSPM is shifting security tool selection and security stack consolidation.
James Mignacca (JM): You’ve been leading our advisory board and engaging with Cavelo customers for some time now — what are some of the key themes you’re seeing?
Eldon Sprickerhoff (ES): Cavelo is laser-focused on listening to its customers and offering solutions that solve their unique problems. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in particular are facing higher-than-ever demands in terms of service pricing, performance, and capabilities.
They’re also facing steep competition and market headwinds — MSPs need to be able to differentiate the quality of their services. Their clients are demanding better reporting, coverage, and more consistent and transparent outcomes from their security investments. Cavelo has worked hard to support MSPs and their end users with capabilities that move the needle for both parties. The Cavelo team is continuously making roadmap and product decisions to helps MSPs maintain the security stance of their clients.
JM: Across our customer base we’re seeing greater focus on DSPM in complement to attack surface management. From your perspective, what’s influencing how companies think about DSPM?
ES: Over ten years ago, when building infrastructure for security purposes we were comfortable implementing based on the concept of ‘castle and moat’ with a very well-defined perimeter. Back then, we didn’t have to broadly build for scenarios of remote work from home, or contend with mass cloud offerings. Mobile devices weren’t quite as embedded in workplaces as they are today. All those factors have exploded and essentially blown away the concept of perimeter security.
Many companies today simply don’t know what data they have at any level of the business. From the perspective of a software bill of materials to a data inventory (and everything in between), businesses struggle with effective categorization and analysis of confidential data, and recognizing where precisely it is domiciled.
When factored into incident response planning, not knowing where data exists on specific sources makes it nearly impossible to get a grip on what data may have been lost. Collectively, we’ve reached somewhat of an inflection point.
Technology categories change to reflect the trends, but at the end of the day DSPM and attack surface management both start with knowing what data you have and where it lives. It’s nice to see that Cavelo continues to evolve in this area and that it remains on the cutting edge of what the market is asking for.
JM: With regards to the security stack and tools adoption, what trends have you seen this year?
ES: The days of having almost ‘free money’ due to considerable economic strength and zero-interest rate policies are gone for the time. CTOs need to justify every security dollar budgeted and spent. Rather than settle for disparate products that don’t talk to each other, leaders are being forced to analyze what can be done to better optimize their security stack — not just from a cost perspective, but from a capabilities perspective as well. There’s an impetus to examine what’s in the stack. As leaders have acquired more tools that don’t work together, they’ve been challenged to find people to manage and operate them — a key goal now is ensuring better interoperability.
Other decision factors are at play, too; we’ve crossed the three-plus year mark since the start of the pandemic. Then, leaders purchased products with capabilities that helped manage the mass shift to remote work. Now, these contracts are coming due for possible renewal, and leaders are assessing whether those products meet changed infrastructure requirements. The pendulum is swinging back from a capability perspective. Leaders are forced to look at the current stack and evaluate whether capabilities can be rolled up together through an interesting package that can fulfill requirements and be more cost conscious.
Functionally speaking, reporting becomes difficult when you have disparate sources of data that can’t blend together. Leaders are looking for one funnel to take in data, generate results, and produce reports for leadership that are consistent quarter-over-quarter.
JM: Is compliance impacting the security stack?
ES: Absolutely. For example, this year the SEC announced a specific focus on public companies, and the need for those companies to get a better idea of their data inventory as it pertains to incident response planning.
In terms of information security, regulators aren’t usually the ‘first ones to the ball’ — they rather tend to intervene after serious problems have emerged. The fact that this focus is becoming critical for regulators makes it significant. It’s not a ‘nice to have’ anymore.
JM: What trends do you expect we’ll see continue or emerge into next year?
ES: The move to cloud cannot and will not be stopped. We’ll continue to see more demands on what defenses and capabilities can extend for greater cloud protection. The security stack consolidation push will continue – not only from a tools perspective but also from a corporate vantage point as it relates to how the company board and leader level addresses DSPM and attack surface management.
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