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What Is Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA): All You Need To Know

Cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) is a rising global trend to help safeguard business-critical data. The tool uses the zero-trust network access policy where devices are managed from a centrally managed cloud-based solution. The framework increases the IT team’s ability to deal with malware and threats. 

The current pace of digital acceleration and increase in hybrid workspaces have made traditional network infrastructure obsolete, posing as the biggest challenge for organisations. Since it’s important to secure corporate data from unsuspected vulnerabilities, you need to implement Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture to protect yourself. 

A mesh will allow every member of your remote team to securely access your organisation’s resources regardless of their location. Therefore, it increases your IT team’s ability to address the numerous security threats from sophisticated attackers on a daily basis. You should consider it a new strategy to protect your perimeter for all intentions and purposes. 

Retaining your corporate sovereignty should be your top priority. Get in touch with our team of Fortinet experts to secure your hybrid or cloud infrastructure.

What is Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture?

With the onset of the pandemic, remote workspaces have gained significant traction because of being a more feasible and cost-effective solution. As companies now have widespread assets outside their security perimeter, the existing safety architectures must also evolve to cater to the growing remote needs. 

Based on data by Gartner, the mesh is a flexible and composable architecture, allowing the integration of widely distributed network assets. The mesh-type architecture provides a robust digital security solution, located close to the device it is supposed to protect. 

The cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) follows a distributed approach defined around the identities of persons and machines on the network. In the new design-focused architecture, smaller individual perimeters are around each access point. With the framework of cybersecurity mesh, each tool is integrated into the IT infrastructure and carefully planned out as part of a larger body.

The mesh ensures managing each access point from a central location of authority. This allows centralised security policies with distributed enforcement throughout the network infrastructure. The cybersecurity mesh is the basis of the zero trust network strategy where devices are accessed securely from anywhere by employees or machines.


Here are some examples of challenges faced by organisations.

  1. Siloed Technology
    Organisations often deploy a siloed security solution, where they rely on their internal analysis to keep them secure. Even when attacks don’t work in silos, you still need to implement CSMA to interoperate, share and leverage security intelligence.

    You can deploy CSMA with your siloed technology by identifying opportunities within your existing stack to increase integration. You also need to add robust APIs that allow interoperability. With this enhanced integration, you will get a holistic view of the security countermeasures 
  2. Decentralised Identities
    For most organisations, on-site infrastructure is now just a fragment, as key processes and applications have been shifted to the cloud. Users access cloud-based applications from anywhere, making traditional perimeter security a less effective control of access.

    You can implement a cybersecurity mesh to distribute your identity fabric to allow users to login from numerous locations and track their usage. For a more intense access control, you need to adopt a Zero Trust network access that integrates with your cloud infrastructure. Multifactor authentication is an adaptive process that will help you verify the identities of your remote employees. 

Why Does Your Enterprise Need Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture? 

With network expansion comes the risk of exploitation as each node is a potential excess point. The legacy networking routers no longer meet the demands and can compromise the whole network architecture. Hackers can initiate cyber attacks via these loopholes and access to business-critical information.

Cybersecurity mesh architecture is one of the most practical implementations for dealing with these newly arising network threats. This go-to solution extends security across the whole infrastructure so enterprises can secure all entry points via a unified cutting-edge technology. Additionally, since it functions on the most recent threat intelligence, the mesh grows as new threats start to emerge.

Given below are some ways through which cybersecurity mesh can help aid in addressing core business initiatives:

Utilising thirty-party services and applications

One of the core features behind strengthening enterprise business is integrating third-party apps and services, including vendors or other service providers. The distributed nature increases the overall market share and customer engagement while minimising the security expenditures.

Formulation of new distribution channels

The integration of third-party alliances leads to the creation of new distribution channels for services and products. Therefore, deploying individual security tools for protecting these numerous network lines is expensive. Hence, integrating a cybersecurity mesh architecture eliminates these costs and complexities to a certain extent, making systems more economical. 

Introducing new initiatives

Actively-running businesses may see higher opportunities for launching initiatives around their network infrastructure. The kind of flexibility required is granted through the deployment of a cybersecurity mesh. 

What are the Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture Layers?

The mesh architecture has numerous benefits for enterprises like scalability, composability, and interoperability. When new strategies evolve, the existing networks are adjusted to meet the needs and can be costly, but the resulting benefits justify the costs. 

Based on the collected data by Gartner, four mesh layers allow agile and adaptive responses to the modern security challenges:

Secure data analysis and intelligence

With centralised management, humongous data is collected and analysed in real-time from a central location. CSMA improves the overall risk analysis and response time while mitigating cyber threats.  

Distributed identity fabric

This cybersecurity mesh architecture layer focuses on capabilities like directory services, flexible data access, identity management, identity proofing, and authorization management.

Combined policy and posture management

For consistently managing security policies across different environments, it is crucial translating policies for these areas. The solutions at this level convert policies into the rules and configuration settings required for one particular environment or tool.

Combined dashboards

The consolidated dashboards provide a combined view into the security ecosystem that helps the security teams to deal with threats promptly. This helps in deploying appropriate responses quickly and effectively.

What are the key considerations for deploying Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture? 

It is clear why the meshing strategy is gaining popularity in organisations due to the array of benefits offered by deploying cybersecurity mesh architecture. The changing business needs and solutions are the main reason for investing in this technology. Some of the key considerations below highlight why organisations should consider this approach:


We can see a considerable increase in phishing and ransomware attacks in the past few years. Hence, it is apparent how the current IT systems are vulnerable to attacks and have doubled in 2020. Hence, the cybersecurity mesh approach helps significantly reduce such vulnerabilities by preparing organisations for zero-day attacks. 


The costs associated with cybercrime attacks are increasing by about 15% yearly. Digital transformation has its costs, especially if the infrastructure needs redesigning. But, the benefits like reduction in costly attacks by leveraging cybersecurity mesh far outweigh any initial investment costs. Therefore, it is a wise decision to invest in the framework. 


To meet the escalating client needs, enterprises have evolved their network frameworks by shifting to cloud computing platforms. The cybersecurity mesh architecture enables migrations by providing flexible and scalable protection for cloud computing environments.

Simple implementation

Digitization is growing at a fast pace, and this growth renders traditional security models cumbersome. Hence, the cybersecurity mesh makes systems work seamlessly by making the design, deployment, and maintenance more efficient and effective. 


Cloud-based apps, distributed data, and unmanaged devices complicate conventional security policies. Assets that lie in remote places and outside the traditional network perimeter, cybersecurity mesh is a more practical model for handling these components. 


A cybersecurity mesh makes responding to threats more agile. Adding and removing nodes is easier and managing new network locations from a central control point also allows for an efficient security system. Further, timely threat response and mitigation ensure a decrease in the chances of an attack. 

What are the benefits and applications of a CSMA?

For securing business-critical information, it is quintessential for enterprises to incorporate a reliable and flexible approach that can be scaled up and down based on their needs. This is where concepts like a cybersecurity mesh come in as a ground-breaking product.

Let’s explore some of the benefits and applications of a cybersecurity mesh to understand how the architecture ensures security if each access point:

Support majority of Identity and Access Management Requests (IAM)

The traditional models cannot secure all digital assets from cyberattacks since many exist outside the company premises. Hence, a cybersecurity mesh architecture allows handling the majority of IAM requests through a unified access management system. 

Increase in Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs)

Based on research, MSSPs will help drive many emerging IAM apps by 2023. The MSSP companies will help businesses by providing them with top-notch tools and capabilities to plan, build, procure, and implement robust IAM solutions. 

Integration of identity proofing tools

With remote workspaces gaining significant traction lately, it has become difficult to identify between genuine users and malicious attackers. Hence, the need to deploy enrolment and recovery procedures has become crucial. Hence, with the integration of identity proofing tools, some of the basic weaknesses in the identity lifecycle are resolved.

Improved collaboration and efficiency

With CSMA, there’s improvement in collaboration of the many security solutions within an organisation, allowing better response time to threats. The overall system efficiency enhances since the architecture eliminates the need to deploy security personnel or context switch between various tools. 

Intelligent and consistent security design

The foundational layers of CSMA are built around core security capabilities. Therefore, this enables organisations to design a secure architecture and deploy the best-suited solutions. The architecture allows security to extend as needed, and this helps in ensuring consistent protection of evolving and expanding infrastructure.  

Creation of decentralised Identity Information

People can provide the minimum required information to validate requests by deploying a cybersecurity mesh architecture. Since the system comprises a decentralised mesh model and the latest blockchain technology, it helps ensure enhanced privacy.

What makes CSMA the Future of Cybersecurity 

The digital economy is constantly evolving, especially since remote work and digital acceleration are gaining momentum. With so much happening around every corner, new threats like AI-enabled attacks are taking over traditional forms of cyberthreats. Since malicious attackers are always looking to improve, companies should also evolve in response. 

Many businesses are rapidly adopting cloud-based infrastructure for data storage but cannot spot the security risks that come with these modifications. With the expansion in corporate networks, employee devices are located in remote locations increasing risks for the safety of business-critical information. 

Recent stats suggest that the CSMA will be one of the top-most strategic technology trends for 2022. This is mainly due to the wide range of security tools embedded inside one unified platform for a cooperative, interoperable, and dynamic ecosystem. The three elements below highlight how it is indeed the future of cybersecurity with these advanced security capabilities:


  • Broad
    CSMA gives a broader spectrum into the digital environment of users, clouds, edges, and endpoints. This allows it to secure the network perimeter through threat detection and policy enforcement.
  • Integration
    One single integrated system is available, decreasing the overall system complexity. This helps to ensure high performance and complete visibility across the entire network desk.
  • Automation
    Cybersecurity requires continuous human monitoring to execute timely tasks. With CSMA, the system is automated with advanced AI capabilities for attack prevention and henceforth increase efficiency.


In 2022, you need to implement Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture to protect your network from internal and external threats. You can make better informed decisions and build effective digital policies from your mesh. CSMA is a simple security architecture that encourages collaboration and integration throughout your organisation. 

Get in touch with us to identify your security gaps and make the necessary amendments to your security policy.

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