Cybersecurity risks dampen business enthusiasm for technology investments

According to a report from HPE Aruba Networking, 64% of IT leaders believe cybersecurity issues have a negative impact on their organization’s willingness to invest in innovative technologies.

innovative technology

This is perhaps not surprising since 91% of respondents view emerging technologies as a danger or admit to having already suffered a breach because of them. But it comes at a time when IT leaders need to be empowered to embrace innovation like generative AI to accelerate critical business transformation – something 89% say their organization will need high levels of during of the next 12 months to succeed.

With headlines full of promise from the latest technologies, the study examined how organizations are currently approaching the interplay between innovation and risk. The report also highlights the role IT and network leaders must play in facilitating safer innovation.

The rise of innovation

95% of IT leaders say digitalization is fundamentally important to unlocking new revenue streams over the next 12 months. In fact, both IT and the entire business are working to introduce new technologies that can drive innovation in terms of how the business operates and what it offers.

As they seek to increase innovation, organizations are turning to emerging technologies and are currently using or planning to introduce 5G (91%), AI and machine learning (ML) solutions (89% ) or IoT and smart sensors (88%).

Despite this surge, only 45% of IT leaders describe their organization as innovative – and, worryingly, even fewer describe it as secure (44%).

Managing increasing risk

There is also a growing gap between technology demands and the IT team’s ability to handle it all: 66% of IT leaders are concerned about their organization’s ability to keep up with the latest technology and digital demands, and 55% say that their IT teams already are. stretched to full capacity.

Combining this growing use of technology with the lack of resources and broader trends around remote working, hybrid cloud and distributed data centers, organizations are facing greater exposure than ever.

“Business needs have evolved and teams are increasingly deploying new technologies to meet these needs. However, security measures that can support the rise of emerging technologies must evolve alongside them,” said Scott Calziavice president of marketing, HPE Aruba Networking.

“For IT teams, this means realizing that AI networking can help their teams be more efficient, alleviate laborious administrative tasks, and strengthen their security strategy by providing built-in protection,” continued Calzia .

The role of the network

According to the study, the role of the network in business transformation is increasingly recognized, and in particular the link between the network and security and innovation. In fact, 64% of IT leaders believe the network can support cybersecurity effectiveness and 61% believe it can support greater innovation.

And IT leaders are investing accordingly: Organizations are starting to move forward with network-based security solutions, including Security Service Edge (SSE) or similar edge-to-cloud security (89%), control policy-based network access (88%). and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) security (87%).

But the data suggests they still need help combining these investments to reap the benefits: Only 47% of IT leaders believe their current network can deliver or support flexible enterprise security and even fewer see its role in supporting emerging technologies (37%).

Calzia concludes: “While the pressure to innovate will not subside, IT leaders must find a safe, streamlined way to overcome the risk conundrum. This requires a unified SASE (SSE + SD-WAN) approach to bring together all disparate network technologies and truly deliver a network capable of supporting secure innovation. Given the prevalence of hybrid working, a solid foundation of network security including the use of zero trust principles is a good starting point to then guide investments in SASE, SSE and NAC.

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