Photo - Thiban Darmalingam, Regional Manager for Barracuda in Malaysia.
About 52 percent of small and medium and large companies said managing application performance, security is an increasing problem due to an increasingly complex environment fuelled by an explosion of data and devices, according to a Freeform Dynamics survey on behalf of cloud security and storage systems firm Barracuda Networks [Barracuda].
The survey of more than 400 enterprises was to identify the top issues affecting the performance of business critical applications, said Barracuda's Malaysia-based regional manager, Thiban Darmalingam.
"Results emphasised a fast discrepancy between the capabilities of their network infrastructures and what network administrators need to do their jobs effectively," said Darmalingam. "The findings indicated that many business networks are showing signs of stress when trying to keep up with the demands of the modern workplace."
"Everything is increasing - the traffic, the data, the access points, and the number of users and devices," he said. "The survey results underpin how important it is for companies to consider all of these points in order to scale their network infrastructure."
Survey findings include:
- Just over one-fifth (21 percent) said employees connecting remotely are generating very high or high amounts of traffic on the network. Approximately 76 percent of those surveyed expect the load from employees connecting remotely to be higher or much higher within three years.
- The vast majority (84 percent) cited current or future changes in working patterns as increasing the challenge associated with application access and security.
- More than half (52 percent) of those surveyed admit their network is a disjointed, complex and hard-to-manage environment, which impacts the ability to deliver consistent application performance, availability and security.
Changes in work patterns and expectations
Darmalingam said 50 percent of respondents shared that the increase in people working from home or remotely is impacting traffic on the corporate network.
"The survey also indicated that poor or unpredictable application performance causes a problem, or acts as a distraction for almost two-thirds (65 percent) of those surveyed. Application outages, impact business, causing disruption in 64 percent of the businesses surveyed," he said.
In addition to performance and availability issues, those surveyed also indicated that changes in work patterns and user expectations are impacting both information and application security, said Darmalingam. "Almost two-thirds (63 percent) stated that changes in how data is used and moved pose a significant challenge when it comes to the security of accessing applications."
"The survey highlights one important point, changes in working trends are being led by employees rather than the IT department," he said. "This change combined with the expected increase in network loads from core applications, virtualisation, collaboration systems and data intensive advanced communications systems further indicate a need to prepare networks to meet these rapidly escalating demands."
Darmalingam called for a change in attitude toward security management by business leaders. "Respondents believe these issues will only increase in the future and recognise a need for change with 81 percent of respondents recognising the need to move away from the 'network perimeter' mind-set for security and embrace an 'application perimeter' approach."
He said currently network perimeters are "ill defined as remote workers, mobile devices, partners, customers and suppliers try to access company resources that have traditionally resided behind a corporate network firewall."
"If you have too many holes in a wall, it gets really hard to keep the bad guys out and the important/critical data in," said Darmalingam, adding that one approach to handling the combination of application performance security challenges was to implement Application Delivery Controller (ADC) type solutions.
In this respect, the survey results are consistent with the mainstream market for ADCs being reasonably new, and knowledge and awareness being relatively limited, with just 27 percent of respondents having a form of ADC solution in place, he said. "Barracuda's own ADC platform addresses core problems associated with an overloaded and inefficient network and access infrastructure."
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