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20/20 visibility key to improving network security

IT leaders around the world share a ubiquitous appetite for greater network visibility, according to a new study from networking and security services firm Infoblox.

The findings underscore a convergence in security with networking, which IT decision makers now view as the missing strategy that will improve security response, automate compliance tasks, and better manage processes and outcomes.

Inflobox says having 20/20 visibility is paramount to network security, because it helps organisations discover and understand what data they are securing and from whom they are securing it. 

"To unlock these benefits requires collaboration between the networking and security teams with network visibility as the glue. This integration advances performance and capacity planning, reduced costs, and device discovery, which benefit both teams," it says.

To further explore, Infoblox commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey the perspectives of 423 global IT leaders at companies in the consumer goods, professional services, retail, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and chemicals industries. The study found that:

  • Security leaders are increasing their investments in network visibility with 97% of respondents already invested in or are planning to invest in new visibility tools/technologies over the next three years, and 61% are eager to invest in network discovery tools. 
  • Solutions that improve visibility are in high demand with nearly 80% respondents viewing an integrated solution that benefits both their organisation's networking and security objectives as appealing, particularly to break down the silos between these organisations, which three out of four surveyed decision makers noted was a problem in their company.
  • Better visibility elevates security responses and capabilities with 81% of surveyed decision makers agreeing that better network visibility would improve their organisation's security posture and capabilities.

Overall, the survey showed there is significant synergy between visibility and security with 98% of decision makers already investing in their security capabilities to support an evolving network architecture. Investing in network discovery (61%) captured the top spot for networking infrastructure as a means of supporting security capabilities.

"We believe these findings underscore that visibility is synonymous with improving efficiency and performance for both networking and security professionals," says Anthony James, Vice President of Infoblox. 

"These traditionally separate sectors are converging as businesses build out cloud-first infrastructures to enable hybrid work. Expanding the corporate network increases security risks, which requires both teams to have visibility into network traffic correlated to each connected device and user identity."  

The in-depth study recommended several mitigations, including building zero trust with an identity-centric approach and standardising on foundational solutions such as the DDI services organisations already use for network connectivity along with DNS security to accelerate threat hunts.

Additionally, all organisations should educate and train their teams on these solutions to optimise value. Ensuring teams cross-functionally leverage the unique visibility DDI metadata yields will also help teams align on goals and minimise damages, particularly from security risks stemming from undetected threats.

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