How Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture Enables Incident Response to Reduce MTTR

March 22, 2023

Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture simply empowers your incident response handlers to make decisions based on a complete understanding of the environment. This efficiency is gained inexpensively by eliminating data wrangling and reliance on Excel through integration with existing tools. When we worked in the SOC the job description highlighted experience with vuln scanners, EDR and antivirus, CMDB, and IaaS platforms, but our most relied-upon tool was Excel… we were frustrated simply because we spent more time managing data than analyzing and deciding. So, it’s time to change.

In 2023, cyber threats continue to evolve. Businesses must be proactive in their approach to cybersecurity and identify opportunities for operational improvement and increase team efficiencies. With the rise of remote work and the increasing number of endpoints in a network, the consistent application of security controls is critical. The successful securing of endpoints is only achievable through complete asset visibility paired with automation to remediate gaps through actions. Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture enables a comprehensive and accessible approach to security by automating attack surface identification, mapping critical assets, and closed-loop security control gap remediation. When authoritative data is accessible to IT and security teams, enterprise teams respond far faster and more effectively to security incidents based on the high fidelity of data.

Below we discuss the core capabilities of Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture, how it enables efficient and non-disruptive incident response, and the benefits it provides to enable and protect the business. 


What are the core capabilities of Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture? 


Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture ensures the interoperability between network and security services in a cohesive technology ecosystem. To ensure effective data exchange between tools organizations must try to establish a centralized and authoritative source of data. Enabling data exchange between different tools and the teams that own them provides unique and necessary capabilities. For example, the convergence of all inventory data sources establishes a self-maintained IT asset inventory. Telemetry data sources provide context and an understanding of dependencies between assets and those that are application dependencies. Identity data (e.g., IAM) convergence provides insight into asset ownership or unexpected behaviors such as anomalous login behavior or susceptible DA accounts. A converged data set is the highest-fidelity source for IT and security teams because it is complete. Converged data enables businesses to fully understand their cyber assets and their context, including owners and business impact, in just minutes as opposed to hours or days. This historically unprecedented level of accessibility enables significant gains in operational efficiencies for both the identification and remediation of risk. 


In addition to establishing a centralized and normalized data plane, Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture enables interoperability between tools based on security data analytics. The most common and valuable example is automated security control gap analysis. When an asset inventory is complete and sources of data are understood, it is simple to identify which sources lack the appropriate agents or controls in place simply because they are unseen. This type of analysis is automated in a closed-loop system to eliminate which significantly reduces manual intervention by analysts. This capability enables IT and security teams to reduce the impact of security incidents and improve their overall security posture. Moreover, this detailed and accessible level of information about assets, their context, and the owner(s) is a significant capability for incident response teams that seek to reduce MTTR and meet SLAs. 


How does Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture improve incident response? 


In the most succinct sense, Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture enables better utilization of the existing IT and security investments to increase the efficiency of teams and eliminate manual tasks. Enterprises that incrementally adopt the framework gain better prioritization of risk and assurance of non-disruption during incident response. Optimized integrations ensure the different monitoring and alerting tools are aggregated and searchable through metadata enrichment. Telemetry provides the ability to automate contextual prioritization, and integrations with orchestrators improve security policy enforcement. In many cases, automated actions provide an autonomous attack surface mapping and reduction loop. From a political perspective, complex technical concepts are abstracted for simplified communication and more effective collaboration. The result is a SOC that can maximize the value of its existing tools, gain immediate access to high-fidelity data, make decisions much faster, and communicate better with stakeholders to establish the appropriate urgency.


Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture has a direct and immediate impact on overcoming bureaucratic obstacles by democratizing access to IT and security data. When the complete context of assets is accessible to analysts there is no longer a reliance on escalations. The reduced strain on senior SOC analysts means junior analysts respond to security incidents without needing several panes of glass used by multiple teams, analysis, ticketing, and escalations to SMEs or management. Think about it this way – if your incident response teams spend most of their time gathering data in spreadsheets they have less capacity to make more decisions. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – in cybersecurity, a 10% gain in efficiency protects tens of millions of dollars in revenue. A more efficient and effective response to risk enables businesses to reduce the likelihood of security incidents and limit the blast radius when an attacker does access the network. Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture is predicted to reduce the costs of breaches by 90%.


Data enrichment is a valuable benefit of Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture. Not only is an authoritative data source centrally accessible, but context is easily embedded in existing workflow and playbook products such as SOARs. For example, simply understanding a server’s owner is valuable, but often ownership data is the least accurate. But looking at recent admin logins provides a contextually relevant source to identify the owner. This simple example often takes days to resolve through ticketing and escalation to managers for server ownership investigation or assignment.  


How does Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture benefit incident response? 


Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture enables IT and security teams to completely understand their environment and respond with an approach that is aware of business-critical assets to avoid disruption. Assurance of minimized disruption to normal business operations means revenue preservation through a better understanding of their environment. Increased confidence in incident response-driven changes means that businesses better maintain core operations while increasing the trust in security to enable the business. 


In addition to these benefits, Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture supports a more holistic and comprehensive approach to security. Rather than relying on a single security measure, Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture provides a comprehensive framework to assess all aspects of a business’s security posture and automate actions to improve it. This approach reduces the risk of security incidents and assures businesses that when incidents occur, the response will not inadvertently impact revenue. As changes in the environment are understood in a high-level and abstracted view, security’s efforts and outcomes are more easily measured and reported to management.


How Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture helps incident response teams in 2023 


Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture is a growing crucial component of modern cybersecurity. With its centralized and normalized data plane, automated security control gap analysis, and interoperability of IT and security services, Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture enables efficient and non-disruptive incident response. Businesses that implement Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture benefit from capitalizing on all their existing IT and security investments to gain a high-fidelity quality of data on assets and their context. The benefit of an authoritative data source is a highly-enabled SOC with much greater efficiencies in incident response to reduce MTTR and meet SLAs. 


Why appNovi? 


We are former security practitioners that experienced the daily challenges of the SOC firsthand. IT asset attribution was incredibly complex and required multiple panes of glasses simply to answer an objectively simple question of “What is this thing?” So now our contemporaries can simply answer this question and make more decisions and fewer spreadsheets.

We solve several of the longest-standing challenges in security. We are excited to be the first providers of a Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture platform to understand assets. And assets are more infrastructure – assets are code, people, infrastructure, applications, and much more. Many of these assets have not been integrated into security operations, and now we’re excited to be the first to do so. Our product installs in minutes and is available as SaaS or installed in your network – you can request a trial here to gain total asset visibility.