Key 20/20 visibility to improve network security

IT managers around the world share a pervasive appetite for greater network visibility, according to new research from networking and security services company Infoblox.

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

According to Inflobox, having 20/20 visibility is critical for network security because it helps organizations discover and understand what data they are securing and from whom they are securing it.

“Unlocking these benefits requires collaboration between network and security teams with network visibility as the glue. This integration advances performance and capacity planning, reduces costs and device discovery, benefiting both teams,” the report said.

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

  • Security leaders are increasing their investment in network visibility, with 97% of respondents having already invested or planning to invest in new visibility tools/technology over the next three years, and 61% looking forward to investing in network discovery tools.
  • Solutions that improve visibility are in high demand, with nearly 80% of respondents considering an integrated solution that benefits both their organization’s networking and security goals as appealing, especially for breaking down silos between these organizations. what three out of four surveyed decision makers noted as a problem in their business.
  • Better visibility improves security responses and capabilities, with 81% of decision makers surveyed agreeing that better network visibility would improve their organization’s security posture and capabilities.

Overall, the survey showed that there is a 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%) ranked first for network infrastructure as a means of supporting security capabilities.

“We believe these results underscore that visibility equals improved efficiency and performance for network and security professionals,” said Anthony James, vice president of Infoblox.

“These traditionally separate industries are converging as companies develop cloud-first infrastructures to enable hybrid working. The expansion of the corporate network increases security risks, requiring both teams to have visibility into the network traffic correlated to each connected device and user identity.”

The in-depth study recommended several mitigating measures, including creating zero trust with an identity-centric approach and standardizing core solutions such as DDI services that organizations already use for network connectivity as well as DNS security to speed up threat hunting.

Additionally, all organizations need to educate and train their teams on these solutions to maximize value. Ensuring that teams cross-functionally leverage the unique visibility into DDI metadata yields will also help teams align with goals and minimize damage, especially security risks from undetected threats.