Visibility and security of the network infrastructure is a big challenge for enterprises as there is a serious disconnect between IT departments and security teams, leaving companies in a potentially vulnerable position.
According to a research by VMware in partnership with Forrester, about 57% of IT heads in the UAE believe it is challenging to gain end-to-end visibility of their network and 39% feel the challenges associated with this lack of visibility has resulted in misalignment between security and IT teams.
Amin Hanafieh, Country Manager for UAE at VMware, said that the network is emerging as one of the most powerful instruments in an organisation’s toolkit, the universal fabric driving intrinsic security and modern applications delivery.
Across organisations, he said that the network’s importance and spread are only set to explode due to the increasing amount of enterprise-generated data being created and processed outside the data centre or cloud.
By the end of this year, IDC predicts that there will 39,000 corporate data centres globally trying to manage data created by more than 31b internet of things using 7m edge locations.
Moreover, Hanafieh said that the transformation of virtual cloud network (VCN) is seen as being essential to delivering the levels of resilience and security required by modern business.
“Businesses were looking to adapt to changing market conditions and rely on the efficiency and ability to connect, run, and secure modern apps consistently from the data centre to any cloud. The network needs to be recognised as the DNA of any modern security, cloud and app strategy, and it should be seen as a strategic tool and not merely the plumbing,” he said.
According to research firm Gartner, $1.9b was spent on cloud security in Mena in 2019.
Rasheed Al Omari, Principal Business Solutions Strategist, SEMEA at VMware, said that the power of the network is being underestimated and organisations lacking visibility of their networks as security and IT teams have differing priorities.
The study showed that 63% in the UAE find it “very challenging” or “extremely challenging” to get data about their network in real-time while
“IT security IT teams need to be more aligned and increase collaboration to improve their organisation's ability to innovate,” he said.
Alongside the inconsistency in how the role of the network in security is perceived, he said that there is a lack of cohesion within the IT and security teams as to who is responsible for network security.
About 45% of respondents in the UAE recognise that a consolidated strategy could help reduce data breaches and more quickly identify threats but this relationship isn’t proving an easy one to maintain as 82% of security and IT teams admit they don't have a positive relationship with one another (at VP level and below).
Security needs to be a team sport
More than half (52%) of organisations want to move to a model of shared responsibility in the next 3-5 years, where IT security architecture (52%), cloud infrastructure (33%) and threat hunting response (55%) is shared between IT and security teams; but that calls for much closer collaboration than exists today.
Al Omari said that organisations should adopt cloud-based solutions to get visibility of their networks and it is only possible if the network is delivered in software, and only via a cohesive and collaborative approach within IT.
“The virtual cloud delivers consistent, pervasive connectivity and security for apps and data wherever they reside. Security is a team sport and it is like a Formula 1 race - one team, one mission and one goal,” he said.