Network Security

With the new year and new security threats being added to the list of existing ones, the IT world is increasingly pushing to prioritize security, high availability, and disaster recovery for their enterprise applications and systems. A review of several surveys, conducted worldwide, and involving nearly 6,000 IT workers, confirms that network security concern is a top priority among IT professionals.

IT SURVEY

The surveys were conducted in 2017 by Vision Solutions, currently a part of Syncsort, and collected responses from 5,632 IT professionals. Their business continuity concerns, high profile hacking attack prevention strategies, data breaches, natural disaster protocol, and ballooning storage and data accessibility requirements were all addressed in the survey. The results spotlight the areas they have identified of greatest concern and their plans for addressing these concerns.

The top 2 IT concerns respondents voiced were business continuity and high availability. These were identified as the ultimate objective of almost every security effort, and respondents noted that malware/virus protection, patch management, and intrusion/detection prevention initiatives were currently in place to address these challenges. Additionally, compliance auditing and hardware/software replication were also top strategies. Concerns and strategies are listed below.

Concerns

  • Business continuity and high availability (47 percent)
  • Application performance (49 percent)
  • Customer satisfaction (46 percent)

Investments

  • Virus and malware protection
  • Patch management
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Compliance auditing and reporting
  • Hardware storage and replication

SECURITY AUDITS

The survey also identified that one third of respondents were not conducting regular security audits. Of the two thirds who are, only 30 percent perform annual audits, and 10 percent conduct their network security audits every two years.

CLOUD SECURITY

The migration of critical applications and processes to the cloud is happening at a rapid rate in many companies, but it is not happening without great concern. 43 percent of survey respondents listed cloud security as the number one security challenge in the year 2017. In comparison, 37 percent cited attack sophistication concerns, and 35 percent noted that ransomware was their top issue for the year.

DISASTER RECOVERY

Natural disaster is a real and ever-present threat to any enterprise, and a well-constructed security plan includes disaster recovery as a critical component. However, existing disaster recovery plans have overwhelmingly failed to meet company needs, with half of the respondents reporting the need to implement their disaster recovery plan and reporting the following results:

Under an hour of lost data (35 percent)

  • A few hours of lost data (28 percent)
  • A day or more of lost data (31 percent)

Of these, only half were able to meet recovery time objectives. Additionally, 85 percent of respondents had no recovery plan whatsoever, or expressed a strong lack of confidence in their existing plan. Building and extensive functionality testing of disaster recovery plans was identified as a pressing need.

In conclusion, the results of the Syncsort network security survey indicated a strong need to increase the focus on network security, particularly in the areas of business continuity and data availability.

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