Network security is of paramount concern among IT leaders, as most companies continue to work from home, according to a new study by Cato Networks.
The SASE platform provider has announced the results of its fifth annual IT survey. The Future of Enterprise Networking and Security: Ready for the Next Leap?, 2376 IT leaders are participating. This study provides insights into how IT organizations responded to the pandemic and plans for 2021.
Enterprises continue to work remotely
According to research, protecting the workforce in remote areas will be the main focus of companies in 2021.
The IT team struggled early in the pandemic and was in a hurry to meet the urgent need for widespread remote access. User connections often come at the expense of other factors such as security, performance, and management. Most respondents (81%) expect to continue working from home (WFH), so in 2021, companies will work on these other areas to protect remote workers without compromising the user experience. It is expected that the remote access architecture will evolve to do so.
According to Gartner, the proliferation of remote work has prioritized secure remote access, returning to the forefront of BYOPC and VPN in the short term, with a focus on SASE and ZTNA in the long term.
Shlomo Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks, says that true testing of enterprise networks is how easy it is to respond to unforeseen circumstances.
“With the right architecture, IT departments can avoid spending long hours and large budgets responding to sudden changes in business requirements,” he says.
“The true SASE platform provides global cloud-scale networking and security, and dynamically adapts to what’s coming.”
- Enterprises will continue to work remotely. Only 7% of respondents said they would all return to the office. More than half (80%) indicated that their company would continue to be a remote worker in whole or in part.
- Protecting remote workers has proven difficult. Enforcing corporate security policies for remote users was the second most common security challenge (58% of respondents). Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they lacked the time and resources to implement recognized security best practices. Improving remote access performance continues to be the most common use case in 2021 (47% of respondents).
- Post-pandemic 2021 enterprise-focused SASE: 91% of respondents expect SASE to simplify management and security. Half of the respondents (52%) said that SASE is very or very important to their business after COVID-19. Of those who have already adopted SASE, 86% of respondents have experienced security improvements.
Securing a workforce in remote areas has proven difficult
Protecting remote users has proven to be extremely difficult for businesses, says Cato Networks.
Remote users need the same advanced threat protection and access control as office users. Nevertheless, the traditional approach to providing these features (backhauling traffic to a location for security inspection) adds a delay that compromises remote performance.
“It’s no wonder that most respondents (58%) made applying corporate security policies to remote users the second most popular security issue,” Kramer says.
“And despite the huge investment (72% of respondents) in scaling VPN resources at the start of COVID-19, improved remote access performance is the most popular IT faced in 2021. Use cases (47% of respondents), increasing from the least popular use cases from last year’s survey. “
In high-profile incidents such as the recent SolarWinds attack, most respondents (71%) pointed out that the network’s inability to protect its business from new security threats was a major network concern.
Research has shown that security is too complex and difficult to implement for many. Most respondents (57% of respondents) felt they lacked the time and resources to implement recognized security best practices. Even the basics of quickly patching software and systems are a challenge for many companies (32% of respondents).
SASE: Strategic approach to protecting remote access
The complexity of today’s security stacks and the need to provide secure access everywhere raises interest in the SASE architecture. As already mentioned, more than half of the respondents said that SASE is very or very important to the business after COVID-19.
Enterprises continue to work remotely
The SASE solution integrates network and security for all remote and office users. As a result, more than 91% of respondents expect SASE to simplify management and security. Of those who have already adopted SASE, 86% of respondents have experienced security improvements, 70% have shown savings in management and maintenance time, and 55% have overall cost savings and agility. It showed improvement, with 36% reducing complaints from remote users and 36% achieving it. All these benefits.
Traditional security architectures can confuse remote employees
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