At the RSA Conference, Tufin announced the results of a survey of 169 security professionals on the current state of security operations. Conducted at Cisco Live! in Milan, Italy in January 2014, more than 90% of the respondents reported that the on-demand nature of virtualization and the cloud has increased pressure on them to deliver applications and services faster.
With more than three quarters of respondents believing virtualization will have the biggest impact on Security Operations over the next 12-18 months, the pace will only accelerate, underscoring the need for increased automation.
These survey results complement the findings of a larger October 2013 Tufin-commissioned survey in which 71% of more than 500 senior IT professionals found themselves having to adopt to new processes, learn new technologies and interact with new people because of these same trends.
The Cisco Live! attendee responses pointed to additional problems being caused by the intense pace of change, highlighting several opportunities to improve Security Operations:
- Almost 90% felt that organizations rely too heavily on network security products and tools at the expense of good network architecture and design in order to deliver the optimum level of network security.
- Almost 40% reported that the biggest barrier to effective network security is network complexity while 25% cited a lack of collaboration and another 20% cited the constant change occurring in today’s networks as their biggest barriers.
- With this being the case, it comes as no surprise that about 89% of the respondents reported that between 20-60% of security policy changes in their organization need to be corrected after the fact.
- Another one-sixth reported that as much as 60-80% of their organizations’ security policy changes need to be revised after the fact as well.
“As previous surveys have confirmed, the role of security within Operations is expanding in order to deal with the network security challenges brought on by the cloud and virtualization,” said Ruvi Kitov, Tufin CEO. “This leads to more and deeper collaboration with other IT groups in order to integrate and automate security into areas such as network design, change processes and operational performance.”
Survey respondents also made it emphatically clear that the threat landscape itself is changing just as quickly as corporate networks. When asked to name the three developments that will most greatly impact security operations over the next 12-18 months, advanced threats were the number one answer, nosing ahead of virtualization (number two) and the transition of mission critical enterprise apps to the cloud (number three).
However, the survey revealed that Security Operations teams are rising to the challenge. More than three-quarters believed their networks were more secure (55%) or just as secure (22%) than they were five years ago. When asked what their biggest automation challenges were, one-third cited the accuracy of policy changes, one-fourth reported a lack of consistent processes across departments, and one-fifth cited a lack of control. This underscored the need for organizations to implement solutions that can model their network so that pre-defined processes and policies can be enforced to ensure accurate change automation and better control over network security changes.