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Sophos survey highlights concerns over business’ network traffic

April 18, 2018 • Security, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Sophos survey highlights concerns over business' network traffic

Dan Schiappa, senior vice president and general manager of products at Sophos

Sophos, a network and endpoint security company, has announced the findings of its recent global survey which revealed that IT managers cannot identify 45 percent of their organisation’s network traffic.

The survey titled The Dirty Secrets of Network Firewalls found that nearly one-in-four IT managers cannot identify 70 percent of their network traffic. The lack of visibility creates significant security challenges for today’s businesses and impacts effective network management.

The survey polled more than 2,700 IT decision makers from mid-sized businesses in 10 countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, India, and South Africa.

Key Survey Findings from South Africa:

  • IT managers cannot identify 38 percent of their organisation’s network traffic
  • 91 percent of organizations agree that a lack of application visibility is a serious security concern
  • 51 percent of organizations are also concerned about productivity loss from unwanted or unnecessary applications they can’t see on the network
  • 4 in 5 IT managers (79%) want better security from their firewalls

Considering the debilitating impact cyber-attacks can have on a business, it’s unsurprising that 84 percent of respondents agree that a lack of application visibility is a serious security concern. Without the ability to identify what’s running on their network, IT managers are blind to ransomware, unknown malware, data breaches and other advanced threats, as well as potentially malicious applications and rogue users. Network firewalls with signature-based detection are unable to provide adequate visibility into application traffic due to a variety of factors such as the increasing use of encryption, browser emulation, and advanced evasion techniques.

“If you can’t see everything on your network, you can’t ever be confident that your organisation is protected from threats. IT professionals have been ‘flying blind’ for too long and cybercriminals take advantage of this,” said Dan Schiappa, senior vice president and general manager of products at Sophos. “With governments worldwide introducing stiffer penalties for data breach and loss, knowing who and what is on your network is becoming increasingly important. This dirty secret can’t be ignored any longer.”

On average, organisations spend seven working days remediating 16 infected machines per month. Smaller organisations (100-1,000 users) spend on average five working days remediating 13 machines, while larger organisations (1,001-5,000 users) spend on average 10 working days remediating 20 machines per month, according to the survey.

“Organisations need a firewall that protects their investment in business-critical and custom applications by allowing employees to have prioritized access to the applications they need,” said Schiappa. “Increasing network visibility requires a radically different approach. By enabling the firewall to receive information directly from the endpoint security, it can now positively identify all applications – even obscure or custom applications.”

Edited by: Daniëlle Kruger
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