Yoni Leitersdorf

In cybersecurity, a dangerous disconnect exists between what people think they know and what they actually know. Consider these survey findings from Palo Alto Networks and YouGov: About 66% of respondents professed to use information security best practices, but only 27% of those surveyed knew how to verify the identity of an email sender — exposing the remainder of the group to 92% of malware deliveries.

Individuals have a lot to lose if their information is compromised, but cybersecurity risks for businesses are even more prominent. Vulnerabilities in network security can lead to breaches that cause catastrophic damage, expensive downtime, and compromised customer trust.

To fend off these potential lapses, organizations should account for often overlooked cybersecurity risk mitigation strategies to shore up their networks.

Beware of Risks

Digital transformations and cloud migrations are a pair of initiatives that can catapult organizations ahead of their competition. These approaches do, however, carry the typical challenges of implementing new technology, red flags that should be ignored at your own peril.

In particular, many companies overlook these three obstacles to infrastructure management:

• Operations team capacity: Organizations rely on a host of security technologies, from network and server monitoring software to storage system and virtualization monitoring modules. Needless to say, the operations team has its hands full. The more responsibilities these employees take on, the higher the chance a human error occurs and prompts a dangerous lapse in security.

• Infrastructure complexity: The days of homogenous systems are long gone. A small infrastructure might include dozens of different vendor technologies, but a large one could incorporate hundreds. Combine the dual demands of cloud computing and on-premise resources, and you have an incredibly complex architecture that is difficult to protect.

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• Time to implement new technology: In one survey, a staggering 96% of organizations reported that moving to the cloud was taking more time (and money) than they initially thought. Some 56% of these respondents cited competing IT projects as the biggest culprit for these delays, but 52% found their efforts hampered by security concerns.

No matter the mitigating factors, IT and information security overhauls require attention to several details. These oversights — and others — can’t be ignored if cybersecurity is to remain a priority for an organization.

Where Fixes Can Be Felt Most

The right solutions involve mitigating security threats without creating bottlenecks that hamstring network performance. For example, poorly implemented security solutions might block legitimate network traffic and cause dips in both customer traffic and revenue.

They can also lead to downtime as a result of network breaches or outages. An Uptime Institute survey reported almost 300 outages occurred in 2018, 15% of which cost more than $1 million and one which exceeded $50 million. With a properly configured solution, an organization can minimize the impact of downtime and maximize the volume of revenue flowing through the network.

The right network security solution also requires less of a time investment from the personnel supporting it. Addressing inconsistencies in network security takes time, something that embracing security infrastructure automation, or SIA, can provide. With SIA, organizations free individual team members to focus on initiatives that drive business value and improve the company’s ability to compete in the marketplace.

Business security isn’t just a cost center. Addressing network security risks can benefit your bottom line and improve outcomes. By considering the above factors that many organizations overlook, you can opt for automation and turn your network security into a competitive advantage.

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