Automation, zero-trust, API-based security priorities for EMEA CISOs

Report by FireMon sheds light on buyer behaviour across the EMEA region

Cyber security leaders across EMEA are prioritising investments in security orchestration automation, zero-trust and API-based security as they attempt to optimise their network security postures as they face up to an ever-expanding threat environment.

This is according to a new study produced by FireMon, a specialist in network security solutions and services, which found that 96% of EMEA organisations have either already implemented security orchestration and automation, or planned to within the next 24 months.

Respondents cited the need to increase agility and responsiveness, as well as address compliance, as the primary drivers for their interest. Firemon said this maybe suggested that the increased complexity of network security was rendering manual processes ineffective.

“The study shows that the combination of multiplying threats, the proliferation of hybrid and cloud architectures, blended with a pandemic-fuelled explosion in distributed and remote work has created a perfect storm for network security teams,” said FireMon CEO Satin Mirchandani. “It is no wonder that they are adding new technologies, architectures, and approaches to ensure their networks remain protected.”

Other areas of interest included zero-trust and secure access service edge (SASE). Out of the EMEA respondents, 38% said they had plans to implement zero-trust policies in the next 12 months, 23% have already started, with motivating factors including securing remote access, reducing risk, and supporting cloud transition.

Meanwhile, 82% said they either already had a SASE platform in place or will do by 2023, and here buyers are motivated by reducing cost and complexity for distributed workforces. Both of these trends were likely accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, said FireMon.

However, these changes do not come without some element of risk, and the report also shed some insight into the dilemma security leaders face in balancing the rush to cloud with managing legacy infrastructure, which is a particularly acute problem when it comes to networking security operations, and application development and delivery. 

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Indeed, 73% of leaders said their application development and network security ops teams were not very well aligned, and 93% said they were worried about the lack of integration between network security platforms and the wider IT infrastructure, thus many are looking for open API integrations to better align DevOps and security and smooth collaboration.

FireMon found that 88% of security leaders do now believe network security investment is a strategic one, boosting security agility and ensuring centralised visibility and control of policies across hybrid networks, as well as risk analysis and real-time compliance.

“Network security is experiencing a fundamental shift. The past year has accelerated so many aspects of this shift that we’ve been enduring for some time,” said Mirchandani.

“Now we see new technologies and approaches rapidly becoming the norm, forcing security teams to rethink how they manage access policies and ensure compliance in a changing and highly heterogeneous world.”

The full report, The future of network security, is now available to download from FireMon’s website.

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