Cybersecurity strategies: Best-of-breed or integrated security suites?

The cybersecurity market debate: Point products vs. integration

Betamax versus VHS. OS/2 versus Windows. Open Software Foundation versus Unix International.

Technology debates over formats, standards and technical approaches will probably always be with us. In the cybersecurity market, considerable discussion has taken place around best-of-breed point products versus integrated security architectures. And while other tech debates have had definitive winners and losers, this dialogue is more ambiguous.

On the one hand, it seems tough to argue against equipping customers with IT security products considered top of the line in their respective categories. But, over the years, each new variety of cyberattack has triggered the launch of a new cybersecurity product category designed to deal with it. If there's a cybersecurity malady people care about, one can be assured there's an array of software products and appliances standing by. The problem is data centers are now stuffed with a multitude of point products that often prove difficult to manage and may lack the cohesion to ensure the end-to-end security people think they are getting.

So, is the integrated solution unquestionably the only way to go in the cybersecurity market? Well, not quite. The integrated method also has its downsides. What happens if the security engineer running the all-in-one security product set leaves the company and there's no institutional memory of how to run the offering? What if one component of the integrated product set lacks key elements of functionality that the client requires?

There may be no "right" answer at this point. But this package of articles aims to provide the background to help you ask the right questions in the cybersecurity market.