A cyber security mesh platform underpins an interconnected digital world

Issue 5 2022 Editor's Choice

The Covid-19 pandemic not only revealed how technically vulnerable businesses were, it also fast-tracked digital transformation and exponential change around the world, bringing us closer to the mainstreaming of innovations of mass disruption.

These disruptions, set to change the way people live and work over the next ten years, include ubiquitous computing and quantum computing, global datafication, immersive technologies and extended reality in everything, facial emotion recognition, and dramatic advances in 3D printing and medical technologies, hyper-automation and clean energy. These technologies will inevitably be interconnected and inter-dependent.

Paul Williams.

Aki Anastasiou.

With tens of billions of connected devices and over 180 zettabytes of data created by 2025 (1 zettabyte is 1 billion terabytes), the question arises – how will all this data be protected? Trust is critical in the ever-changing, increasingly digital realm, and integrating security holistically into this environment will demand the reinvention of traditional cybersecurity approaches.

The emergence of the cybersecurity mesh platform

The challenge with traditional approaches is that networks and systems are becoming more complex and distributed, complicating management, visibility and response to security events. In a multi-dimensional world with growing numbers of users, devices, networks and applications, customers around the world and in South Africa are reporting that some of their key challenges now are a lack of visibility, not enough control and a lack of specialised cybersecurity expertise. Customers are increasingly asking for help to enable them to work from anywhere, secure their digital acceleration and help them mitigate risk amid a general shortage of cybersecurity skills.

We’re seeing a ubiquitous need for integration, interoperability and automation in the security environment. The game has changed: what organisations need today is a new approach, one that brings together the convergence of networking and security with vendor consolidation through the integration of multiple security technologies to reduce complexity, provide end-to-end visibility and improved threat detection and response, in short a cybersecurity mesh platform or as Fortinet calls it, the Fortinet Security Fabric.

So, what is cybersecurity mesh? Mentioned by Gartner as one of the Top 8 Security and Risk trends late 2021, a cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) is described as a ‘composable and scalable approach to extending security controls, even to widely distributed assets’. This flexible and integrated model is the answer to multi-cloud architectures and widely distributed and interconnected environments.

Gartner notes that CSMA provides a more consistent security posture supporting increased agility and a dynamic security environment. It is predicted that organisations adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture will reduce the financial impact of security incidents by an average of 90% by 2024.

At Fortinet, we’re confident that this prediction is spot on. We have long advocated the use of a broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity platform to reduce complexity and enhance overall security effectiveness; and this approach served our customers particularly well amid the move to remote and hybrid work and ever-more distributed environments.

To deliver on its full potential, a cybersecurity mesh platform should ideally overcome the challenge of technology and vendor silos within an open ecosystem of partners. Fortinet’s open ecosystem approach extends the capabilities of the Security Fabric to the Fabric-Ready partner solutions and enables integration of new solutions into the Fabric.


• Smarter with Gartner, The Top 8 Security and Risk Trends We’re Watching, November 15, 2021, www.securitysa.com/*gartner1

• Gartner, The Top 8 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2021-2022, October 20, 2021, www.securitysa.com/*gartner2

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