Securing the future: Cyber security readiness report

Chapter 8: Competing priorities in advancing preparedness

Security leaders are committed to improving preparedness for cyber security incidents. They know that attacks are on the rise and that they need to act. However, budgetary constraints and the shortage of skilled workers have forced many to focus on individual points of vulnerability rather than hardening defenses across the entire organization.

Unfortunately, many CISOs face competing security priorities. They know that data encryption, endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication (MFA), Zero Trust network access, browser isolation, and other capabilities are all important. Still, budget and staffing challenges mean that less than half of leaders have a mature or even partial implementation of these capabilities.

At a high level, most security leaders have decided to make network protection a top priority. In our survey, 90% of respondents have deployed some network solutions.

The emphasis on networks is not completely uniform across industries. In healthcare, for example, organizations have a greater focus on protecting apps and data than safeguarding networks. Still, healthcare organizations have a much lower deployment of solutions across all areas.

For those leaders outside of healthcare, why is there a greater emphasis on network security? These security leaders recognize that traditional architectures and legacy security appliances are not the best choices for safeguarding today’s hybrid workforces or cloud-based apps and data. They need security solutions that can be applied across all endpoints and users, no matter where those endpoints and users are located.

Despite the relatively high percentage of leaders who have already deployed network security solutions, many still do not feel adequately prepared for network security threats. In fact, according to our survey, only 40% of leaders believe their networks are prepared.

Why is there a discrepancy between the deployment of network security solutions and preparedness? It might be that security teams are still spreading themselves too thin. While 90% of leaders report network security deployments, that percentage is only slightly higher than the proportion of respondents who have deployed security solutions to protect data (85%), users (85%), devices (84%), and applications (83%). Leaders seem to be saying that networks are most important — but they can’t neglect other areas.

As security leaders struggle with competing priorities, many teams are accumulating multiple, disconnected solutions. Managing those solutions has only amplified the challenges of constrained budgets and the talent crunch.

Instead of attempting to close individual gaps, many organizations would be better served by adopting a single, unified platform that incorporates a full range of security solutions. A connectivity cloud can help organizations protect networks as well as data, users, devices, and apps — all while reducing costs and management complexity. Teams can support hybrid work and the use of cloud apps, strengthening security and improving preparedness, without having to make difficult choices between competing priorities.

This article is part of a
series on the latest trends and topics impacting today’s technology decision-makers.

Key takeaways

After reading this article you will be able to understand:

  • Survey results from over 4,000 cyber security professionals

  • New findings on security incidents, preparedness, and outcomes

  • Considerations for CISOs to secure the future and achieve better outcomes for their organization

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