More than two thirds of organisations say network security threats have increased

Hybrid working and infrastructure complexity continue to present significant network management challenges.

  • Thursday, 20th June 2024 Posted 3 weeks ago in by Phil Alsop

More than two-thirds (69%) of organisations have seen an uptick in network security threats over the last 18 months, according to new research from Daisy Corporate Services (Daisy). Nearly three-quarters (71%) say that cyber security threats are the biggest networking challenge they currently face, with 85% of organisations stating that remote and hybrid working is the biggest contributor to heightened threat levels.

Daisy’s ‘State of Networking Report 2024’, surveying 250 IT decision-makers in the UK, highlights that growing network complexity is making it more difficult and costly for organisations to secure and manage their networks. Almost two-thirds (64%) say their current network is made up from a patchwork of different vendor technologies, and 87% say this has created network management issues. Unsurprisingly, 88% of organisations state that simplifying their network infrastructure is now a priority.

“At a time when the network perimeter is becoming increasingly virtual and a growing number of business processes and applications are online, it has never been so important to be able to maintain and manage a secure boundary between your network and the outside world,” commented Joel Cunningham, Head of Connect at Daisy Corporate Services. “Simply hoping your remote employees will enable a VPN outside the office doesn’t constitute a robust network security strategy.”

Legacy networks continue to hold organisations back

Increased pressure is being put on many networks due to the number of cloud applications being used in the workplace – according to 81% of those surveyed. What’s more, over a third of organisations (37%) said ensuring cloud application performance was one of the main networking challenges they face. This is especially true in office environments where hot desking and large meeting rooms are putting WIFi networks under strain.

Yet even seemingly simple upgrades – such as moving to the newer WiFi 6 standard is a challenge for many. With 60% of saying the cost of upgrading devices is delaying their move to WiFi 6. In fact, only 21% of those surveyed currently have WiFi 6 deployed across most of their organisation.

Despite being aware that they need to simplify and update their network infrastructure, 30% of IT budgets is currently still spent on maintaining legacy network hardware. This makes it harder for organisations to implement modernisation and improvement programs, resulting in a vicious circle where legacy systems need to be maintained, as there isn’t an alternative.

Sustainability is harder to achieve when it comes to older tech

Legacy technology is also a significant factor in whether organisations can meet their sustainability goals; with legacy network hardware accounting for a third (34%) of organisations’ overall IT power consumption. More positively, the majority of organisations (91%) believe modernising their network infrastructure will contribute to them meeting ongoing sustainability targets. However, being able to dispose of legacy equipment in an environmentally friendly way remains a challenge for 59% of organisations.

“Legacy networking equipment remains a huge cost centre, preventing organisations from reaching their sustainability goals and causing significant overspend across maintenance and power consumption,” added Joel Cunningham. “The traditional approaches to managing wide area networks (WANs) often fall short in addressing these complex issues. However, Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) has emerged and evolved into a transformative solution. This powerful technology not only solves the problem of optimising network performance but enhances security measures, giving organisations an edge in the ever-evolving threat landscape.” 

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