Lack of visibility and control puts enterprise network resources at risk

Nearly 50% of enterprises believe employees and non-employees have access to data that is not relevant to their job function according to a recent survey the company conducted. This alarming statistic demonstrates the extent to which sensitive data is at risk in the enterprise due to the limited intelligence and lack of user and application controls in legacy switching architectures.

Enterprises today are being driven to support a more dynamic workforce and diverse workplace as shown by over 35% of survey respondents saying that non-employees such as business partners, consultants, and guests needed access to network resources on a daily basis.

With the increased demand for access to the LAN, the pressure on IT to protect corporate assets intensifies, yet the tools used to control access to LAN resources are not fit for purpose. Over 63% of enterprises still use password authentication to control LAN access; while 30.7% use network segmentation (ACLs/VLANs) and 24.6% rely on NAC.

This was supported by 37.7% of respondents saying it takes 2-3 hours to change VLANs. Yet, 28.9% said they never change ACL/VLANs proving the unwieldy nature of these basic controls and demonstrating how enterprises are not or cannot respond to changing working patterns.

Over 50% of respondents said they needed to audit end user behaviour, while 46.5% needed to simplify how users authenticate to the network based on job function. Nearly 40% meanwhile said IT staff spend several hours a week manually correlating user and application traffic for troubleshooting.

Alex Raistrick, Director Northern Europe, ConSentry commented:

The enterprise is rapidly changing and under pressure to keep control of its network and visibility of users. It needs to adapt quickly to embrace collaboration, yet maintain protection of its network resources. Unfortunately, the vast majority of companies are using rudimentary options such as passwords, VLANs or ACLs that provide inadequate security and are awkward and labour intensive to use and deploy.

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