Network Security

Network Security is Top Challenge for nearly 60% of Enterprises: ISG

Global survey finds concern for security has driven network decision-making to the CISO

Enterprises look to providers to achieve cost reductions and efficiencies

Network security is both the top challenge and the top investment priority for enterprise IT leaders, a new survey from Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, finds.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents to the ISG survey on network modernization ranked network security among their top five challenges, with 21 percent ranking it highest. At the same time, 75 percent identified network security as a top-five infrastructure investment priority for 2024, including a leading 26 percent who identified it as their top priority.

Respondents to the ISG Network Modernization Study included 200 global executives with decision-making responsibility for networking operations, as well as third-party providers of networking solutions and services.

Of the network security challenges, protection from cyber-attacks was the top concern for 23 percent of respondents and one of the top five concerns for 69 percent, followed by phishing and social engineering (the top concern for 12 percent), data privacy and compliance legislation (8 percent), identity and access management (7 percent), and the security implications of remote work (6 percent).

Underscoring the focus on network security, the study also found that Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have the greatest impact on evaluating network services and solutions and determining the organization’s network strategy. This finding indicates networks are now widely considered a cybersecurity domain.

“With CISOs leading network decisions, security is now integrated into core technology and transformation decisions,” said Alex Bakker, ISG Distinguished Analyst and co-author of the study. “The practice of involving the CISO early in the technology buying process can result in faster decisions and closer alignment between business, technology and security objectives.”

Most enterprises gave high marks to their network security and their network performance in support of a remote workforce. Sixty-one percent of respondents say their network security is better than peer companies, and 54 percent say their network’s ability to support a remote workforce is better than others.

Enterprises are less positive about their management of legacy infrastructure, with only 32 percent rating their network’s performance as better than others. Similarly, only 35 percent of respondents feel they are achieving more value for money than peer companies from their network technology investments, and only 31 percent say their provider ecosystem is performing better than competitors’.

“Businesses are currently achieving meaningful network savings of around 9 percent from network modernization, but to maintain those levels, they are looking to network providers to be more proactive in finding future savings and more transparent about what those savings will look like,” said Michael Dornan, principal analyst and study co-author. “Fourteen percent of our survey respondents said cost reduction and efficiency is the most important key performance indicator in network services contracts and 62 percent rated it a top-five KPI.”

ISG Buyer Behavior Research combines the results of surveys of senior-level global executives with expert ISG research and analysis on market trends and strategic business initiatives. Upcoming studies will focus on application development and maintenance (ADM) and artificial intelligence. Earlier 2023 studies explored cost optimization, cybersecurity, global capability centers and the future workplace.

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