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Enterprises Revising Strategy to Accommodate New IT Trends: Study

Posted on: November 11, 2011


Re-Strategising for More Thorough Coverage, Lower Cost

 

  • When asked about their IT security strategy, respondents believe that the top two areas of improvement by far are comprehensiveness of coverage and cost of their IT security implementation. They want coverage to be extended beyond the core network perimeter to areas like mobile endpoints and processes, and they want security-related costs to be reduced. Of the seven markets surveyed, Indian respondents ranked comprehensiveness of coverage as their no.1 priority (63%), followed by cost effectiveness (41%).

 

  • There are several drivers for the strategy changes. Heading the list are technologies under rapid adoption in India, including cloud computing (36% of respondents named it as the most important driver) and virtualisation (16%). Other influences shaping IT security strategy are the emergence of more sophisticated threats and attacks (15%), user-led IT (14%) and mobility (11%).

 

Enterprises Responding Faster to Changing Trends

 

  • In line with fast evolving trends, many organisations are assessing their IT security strategy frequently. As many as 80% of the respondents from India have conducted a full reappraisal of their information security strategy in the last 12 months.

 

  • In fact, the survey unveiled that as many as 85% of respondents are concerned about their firms’ ability to secure corporate data in this new user-led IT environment, where individual users, rather than enterprises, define the preferred IT practices and technologies they wish to use. South Korean and Indian organisations are the most worried (both 94%) by this IT consumerisation. Japan is the least worried, but even there, almost two thirds of the respondents (63%) say they are concerned.

 

Inadequate Security for Personal Mobile Devices

 

  • Across the sample, 94% of respondents say that they have a mobile security strategy defined.  Hong Kong and Taiwan are the most advanced markets in this area, both at 98% followed by India at 96%.

 

  • However, results indicate that most companies are not confident of or do not have the means to secure personal mobile devices:  67% of respondents say they only allow the use of corporate mobile devices onto which security policies can be directly enforced. Twenty six percent of enterprises place responsibility for securing personal mobile endpoints directly with the users/owners of those devices − a dangerous practice.

 

Wireless Networks: The Greatest Vulnerability

 

  • When asked about which parts of their IT infrastructure are vulnerable from a security standpoint, wireless networks are named most frequently (quoted by 59% of the respondents).  In terms of severity of risk, wireless networks are also rated highest, ahead of endpoints (ranked 2nd) and databases (3rd). Wireless networks are seen as particularly vulnerable in Japan, with 86% of that country’s respondents ranking it as their top threat, ahead of South Korea (61%) and Hong Kong (55%).

 

Migration to Application Aware and XML Firewalls has Started

 

  • Today’s security threats are no longer port-based and can slip into enterprise networks through applications. With application awareness and control capabilities underpinning the emergence of ‘next-generation’ firewalls and the death of traditional firewalling solutions, 42% of the respondents are now using, or plan to use, a firewall with application control features.  Specialised Web application and XML firewalls are also being adopted in significant numbers, with 45% of the overall sample now using, or planning to use, this technology to secure Web-based applications.

 

  • Singapore shows the highest rate of ‘next generation’ firewall adoption with 52% of its sample using this technology. India and South Korea follow closely, tying at 48%.

 

  • China and Taiwan are the largest adopters of Web application /XML firewalls, with 61% and 48% of their samples, respectively. India is 3rd with 44%.

 

Network Security Consolidation Gathering Momentum

 

  • To date, almost three quarters (71%) of respondents have consolidated security elements to take advantage of tighter security, simplified management and lower cost, and 90% of them say that they will continue consolidating security over the next 12 months.

 

  • Twenty-six percent of the sampled organisations plan to embark on a network security consolidation exercise for the first time in the next 12 months.  Only 3% of the respondents plan to continue abstaining from any network security consolidation in the foreseeable future.

 

  • South Korea is the furthest ahead in the network security consolidation game, with 78% of respondents already having done some form of consolidation. China is 2nd with 77% and Taiwan is 3rd with 74%.

 

  • In Japan, 14% of the sample feels they have embraced network security consolidation to the furthest extent desirable. This is twice as high as the Asian average of 7%.

 

  • Hong Kong organisations are most likely to start out on network security consolidation for the first time (34%). Singapore is 2nd with 32%. In Japan, the figure is only 18%.

 

India is likely to witness the rollout of fourth generation (4G) mobile telephony in 2012 even as third generation (3G) service is still gaining ground among mobile subscribers.

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