Network Security: IT Professionals’ Top Priority for 2014
Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you understand how vital it is for enterprises today to secure remote access to their corporate networks. It looks like that understanding is becoming more widespread – according to recent research by TechTarget and Computer Weekly, network security topped the list of IT professionals’ networking priorities in 2014.
More than 600 IT professionals that specialize in networking across Europe participated in the publications’ annual purchase intentions survey. They work in IT departments across a wide range of industries, including education, manufacturing, finance and government. Across the board, 50 percent said security was the main business issue driving networking investments, followed by enabling worker productivity (34 percent) and reducing costs (32 percent).
Further, the research revealed that the biggest driver of spending is the continued growth of BYOD. When BYOD first arrived on the scene, there were many debates about the risks and rewards of embracing it. Years later, it’s become less of a buzzword and more of a reality. There are certainly pros and cons to allowing employees to work from home or on their own devices, but the fact of the matter is that network access will be increasingly fluid for the foreseeable future, whether network professionals like it or not.
One other finding that really stood out to us was that 44 percent of respondents think that keeping IT and corporate goals aligned will be the biggest challenge next year. While corporate and IT goals may differ in many ways, employee productivity can be the glue that holds them all together. In order to maximize productivity, companies should allow employees to work remotely and have a well-established remote access security strategy.
However, despite the desire to increase investments in network security and improve their security strategies for the reasons listed above, the majority of respondents felt overall budgets would be about the same next year. Though that may be a bit discouraging for IT departments, the good news is that there are steps that can be taken to improve network security without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways for enterprises to secure remote access with a low TCO is to implement a centrally managed VPN solution. When IT administrators have the ability to monitor and control all remote communications with the corporate network, it not only saves network administrators and mobile employees a lot of hassle, but the increased automation can reduce the headcount required to manage network access. Central management also allows IT administrators to identify anomalies in network communications and quickly react, to ensure that any action made with malicious intent does the least amount of damage possible. Getting the most out of stagnant budgets next year will be a big concern, and organizations that utilize a centrally managed VPN solution are certain to enjoy heightened network security without excessive financial strain.