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Shining a spotlight on your network security baggage

"Every emergency today is the result of a bad decision yesterday." - Jeff Pollard on our webcast

Our guest, Jeff Pollard, Principal Analyst, Security and Risk at Forrester, joined me to discuss the modern challenges network security professionals are experiencing today. Many network security architectures still look like they did five or ten years ago, even though technology has evolved considerably. Organizations find themselves backhauling data to legacy secure web gateways, and paying the price for increased bandwidth backhaul and additional hardware as their organizations grow and become more distributed. Even worse is many security decision makers feel like there are only two options: staying the course and continuing to pay for decisions made based on legacy systems, or believing their only option is to rebuild their network from the ground up to move to a cloud solution.

As a security practitioner, ask yourself, “where are we getting trapped?”

Expense in depth: More money, more problems

"28%: the current amount spent on security relative to the IT budget" - Jeff Pollard, Security Budgets 2017

127873_4q.gifAs security spend relative to IT budget goes up, a higher percentage of security decision-makers find the lack of budget a challenge, despite spending more than their peers. For example, in organizations spending more than 40% on security (relative to their IT budget), 69% say lack of budget is a challenge. Yet in organizations spending <20% on security (relative to IT budget), only 55% think lack of budget is a challenge.

 This paradigm shift is a result of several factors:

  • The more money spent, the more attention you pay to security, and the more gaps you identify.
  • If you have a legacy secure web gateways, then you need to continue to increase budget for on-prem hardware and bandwidth backhaul as your organization grows and becomes more distributed.
  • It seems easier to continue to support a legacy system than to admit it’s no longer meeting your organization’s needs.

Self-inflicted operational friction with non-hybrid approaches

If you’re juggling multiple network security technologies and approaches, you’re probably juggling different dashboards and requirements for each system. Whether an on-prem dashboard or a cloud dashboard, the attention to detail and time spent monitoring each system if an incident occurs can get out of control. As you re-evaluate your network security strategy and needs, consider the benefits of a distributed gateway approach that gives you the freedom to manage your network security holistically.


When was the last time you re-evaluated your network security approach? Hear more from Jeff about trends in IT security spending and common traps to avoid on our recorded webcast.