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New trends cause Asian firms to review IT security strategies

Veronica C. Silva | Oct. 24, 2011
Cloud computing and virtualisation are among top trends prompting firms to revise IT strategies.

New trends in information technology (IT), including cloud computing and an increase in mobile devices connecting to the corporate networks, are prompting companies to review their IT security strategies.

According to a commissioned study by Fortinet, a network security provider, companies in the region are showing concern that their IT security coverage and related costs may need to be improved to guard against any security threats.

The study was done in August 2011 and involved 350 IT decision makers from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

Respondents identified two chief areas that could be their focus in revising their IT security strategies - the comprehensiveness of the IT security coverage, and the cost of the IT security implementation.

Comprehensive approach

Among the markets covered, 71 percent of Singapore respondents want the focus of the strategising on the comprehensiveness of the IT security coverage while 58 percent among the Hong Kong respondents said the cost of their IT security is their chief concern.

Respondents want to extend the coverage of their IT security to include mobile devices that connect to the enterprise network, but they want the cost of implementing IT security strategies reduced.

The study also identified some of the top IT trends that are prompting a review of enterprise IT security strategies. These include cloud computing (36 percent of respondents named it as the most important driver) and virtualisation (16 percent). Other factors shaping IT security strategy are the emergence of more sophisticated threats and attacks (15 percent), user-led IT (14 percent) and mobility (11 percent).

"The remarkable pace of cloud computing adoption and the growing trend of employees plugging their personal devices to the corporate network are posing serious challenges to traditionally secured networks," said Patrice Perche, senior vice president, international sales and support, Fortinet.

Mobile security

The study noted that although many organisations have a mobile security strategy, they are not confident of their strategy when it comes to personal mobile devices connecting to the network.

Hong Kong and Taiwan are the most advanced among the markets included in the study, with 98 percent saying they have a defined mobile security strategy in place. Some 67 percent of respondents said they allow only corporate mobile devices to connect to the network.

The study also revealed that wireless networks are the most vulnerable in the IT infrastructure.  Respondents ranked wireless networks as the riskiest, followed by endpoints and databases. Among the markets, wireless networks are particularly vulnerable in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Organisations are also assessing their IT security strategy frequently with as many as 74 percent of the respondents having conducted an assessment of their security strategy in the last 12 months, the study noted.


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