Insight-commissioned IDG survey reveals ongoing security challenges tied to distributed IT & work-from-home environments
London, UK, March, 2021 — Nearly 80% of senior IT and IT security leaders believe their organisations lack sufficient protection against cyberattacks despite increased IT security investments made in 2020 to deal with distributed IT and work-from-home challenges, according to a new IDG Research Services survey commissioned by Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ:NSIT), the global integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organisations of all sizes.
That high level of concern over the ability to withstand cyberthreats in today’s complex IT environment is causing 91% of organisations to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2021, nearly matching the 96% that boosted IT security spending in 2020, according to the survey by Insight.
The survey, “Cybersecurity at a Crossroads: The Insight 2021 Report,” examined the impact of the distributed IT landscape and pandemic-related transition to a remote workforce on IT security, including shifts in modernisation priorities, projects undertaken in 2020, and major obstacles faced in strengthening cybersecurity defences. Respondents included more than 200 C-level IT and IT security executives in organisations with an average of 21,300 employees across a wide range of industries.
At a top level, the survey found that 78% lack confidence in their company’s IT security posture and believe improvements are needed. Respondents expressed the least confidence in their organisation’s security roadmap (32%), security-related technology and tools (30%), and internal teams and skill sets (27%). They reported the highest level of trust in their company’s data management strategy, but even then, less than half (45%) voiced confidence in this aspect of security operations.
Among other key findings:
- Cybersecurity is being integrated into multiple aspects of the business, indicating rising recognition of the risk that a cyberattack poses to company operations. Fully 100% of survey respondents report that their boards and executive teams are more focused on their organisation’s security posture than in the past. In addition, 68% initiated projects to integrate incident response into companywide business continuity plans, 61% are integrating cybersecurity into infrastructure and DevOps decisions, and 59% are incorporating IT security into broader business operations decisions to better combat cyberthreats.
- Companies shifted cybersecurity modernisation priorities in 2020 in response to the immediate challenges presented by the pandemic, accelerating an average of five to six initiatives to protect the increasingly distributed IT environment and securely connect a remote workforce with the data needed to keep businesses running. Most companies pursued multiple projects in categories including threat visibility/identification (73%), incident response (70%), network security (68%), endpoint security (67%), application security (67%), malware protection (64%), and identity and access management (55%).
- Most complex, long-range security projects took a back seat to block-and-tackle activities such as anti-malware/anti-virus upgrades, multi-factor authentication and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) deployments. As a result, relatively few organisations initiated or executed projects in critical areas like identity governance, Zero Trust, data analytics, AI/machine learning and SASE implementations.
The survey also documented key challenges that organisations face in strengthening their security posture.
55% rank lack of automation as the #1 challenge in security operations and management, reflecting their inability to manually analyse and respond to the flood of notifications and events generated by today’s increasingly complex security infrastructure. The problem is exacerbated by factors including the disparate toolsets involved, outdated technology lacking the APIs to support automation, and the time and advanced skill sets required to implement automated processes.
- Only 27% of respondents expanded security staff in 2020 – down slightly from 30% in 2019 – leaving IT teams stretched extremely thin and without many of the specialists required to execute the wide range of tasks necessitated by the year’s evolving threatscape; 41% plan to begin or resume staff expansion this year.
- Just 57% conducted a data security risk assessment in 2020 despite the need to re-evaluate their security posture in the face of new threats associated with the pandemic. Limited manpower and resources as IT teams addressed emergency security measures likely prevented this critical step in aligning security priorities with current conditions.
“Entering 2020, organisations were in the midst of addressing security challenges associated with the increasingly distributed IT landscape spanning cloud, edge and on-premises environments. These challenges greatly intensified with the rapid work-from-home expansion brought on by the pandemic,” said Ken Lamneck, Insight president and CEO. “Cybersecurity integrating efforts like those mentioned in the survey indicate a big step forward. Done well, organisations can fortify their security postures and mitigate risk. This requires a cultural change. As business leaders, we play a key role in driving cybersecurity integration within our organisation.”
Insight’s team of architects, engineers, and consultants who specialise in cloud and data centre transformation serve as an extension to client IT and security teams and help assess risks, fortify security posture, manage day-to-day security operations, and ensure organisations are prepared for future challenges. More information is at uk.insight.com/what-we-do/insight-security-service.
Download the report from uk.insight.com here.
Today, every business is a technology business. Insight Enterprises Inc. empowers organisations of all sizes with Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ and services to maximise the business value of IT. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of Digital Innovation, Cloud + Data Centre Transformation, Connected Workforce, and Supply Chain Optimisation solutions and services, we help clients successfully manage their IT today while transforming for tomorrow. From IT strategy and design to implementation and management, our 11,000 teammates help clients innovate and optimise their operations to run business smarter. Discover more at uk.insight.com.
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