The impact of disconnected security strategies

39% of organizations’ IT departments are spending too much time managing their security network and manually tackling threats, according to McAfee.

Almost a third of IT decision makers (31%) believe their organization is using too many security providers to manage the ever-evolving threat landscape. More than half (52%) claimed to be using five or more different security solutions within their network.

Companies with multiple, siloed security solutions often present security postures that are easily compromised, putting them at greater risk for a data breach. According to the study, 37% of IT decision makers believe point security solutions that don’t share information can lead to threats going unnoticed, and 31% stated this lack of integration meant threats were sometimes not passed on to where they could be contained.

The absence of integration and compatibility between point solutions has brought into question the overall security of an organization’s network with 73% either unable to say, or in agreement that siloed solutions has decreased their security levels.

“It’s no longer enough for businesses to deploy point security products in answer to the latest security threat or compliance requirement. How these systems communicate to provide actionable intelligence has to be a priority to stay one step ahead of advanced attacks,” said Ashish Patel, regional director, network security UK & Ireland at McAfee, part of Intel Security.

Despite admissions from IT departments that siloed security solutions are leaving businesses exposed, many organizations seem to be placing unrealistic expectations on their current firewall capabilities. More than half (55%) were confident their current firewall is able to find advanced malware, freeze the threat, and initiate fix or mitigation actions.

Nearly the same amount (52%), believe their firewall has advanced end-to-end threat detection, including sandbox analysis capabilities, intrusion prevention and endpoint protection and 75% are confident that their current IT architecture can stop stealth-like and zero day attacks.

With 60% of all respondents in the UK (and a staggering 98% in the US) under the belief they have a Next Generation Firewall in place, concerns pervade that organizations are confused about what constitutes a NGFW and are unaware of the security capabilities actually in place, inadvertently leaving their organization exposed.

“This study shows the extent of confusion in the market and the need for greater education on NGFW and the capabilities businesses must demand as part of their NGFW ecosystem, commented Patel. “Businesses must integrate their wider security architecture, such as SIEM, Endpoint, ATD and global threat intelligence with their NGFW to accelerate the discovery and remediation of advanced threats to ensure their business remains safe.”

The research was undertaken by Vanson Bourne in September 2014 with 100 IT decision makers in the UK. The research was also carried out across France, Germany and the US.

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