Network devices

Businesses face cybersecurity risk due to the increase in the number of obsolete network devices

Cloud investments exceed companies’ on-premise infrastructure spending as companies move their applications to multi-cloud environments.

This is according to NTT Ltd’s 2020 Global Network Insights report, which indicates that this has slowed down refresh and upgrade patterns, with many companies choosing to continue to leverage network assets and slow investment in the network. re-architecture of their on-site network and security infrastructures.

As a result, there has been an increase in obsolete and unpatched network devices containing software vulnerabilities, introducing risks and exposing the organization to information security threats.

The report, which is based on data from technology assessments conducted on more than 1,000 customers covering more than 800,000 network devices, found that 46.3% of organizations’ network assets were aging or obsolete, on a weighted average basis, this report which is a huge increase from 2017, when that figure was just 4.3%.

The COVID-19 outbreak and the consequent increase in bandwidth consumption are straining the network, exacerbating existing challenges and ultimately creating a perfect storm, according to the report.

With an increase in remote work, remote access, and consumption of voice and video services, organizations’ network and security infrastructures are under incredible strain.

“In this new normal, many organizations will have to, if not forced to, review their network architecture and security strategies, their operating and support models to better manage operational risk,” said Rob Lopez, Executive Vice President, Intelligent Infrastructure, NTT Ltd.

“We expect the strategy to shift from a focus on business continuity to preparing for the future as the lockdown begins to ease,” he said.

“Network infrastructure must be designed and managed appropriately to cope with unanticipated power surges, which will require a redesign of cloud and on-premises infrastructure to reduce the impact and frequency of critical business failures. “

According to the report, obsolete devices have, on average, twice as many vulnerabilities per device (42.2) compared to aging (26.8) and current (19.4) devices, creating unnecessary risk.

This risk is further exacerbated when companies do not patch a device or revisit the version of the operating system during its lifetime. And while updating is relatively straightforward and often free as part of a maintenance contract or extended warranty, many companies still don’t patch their devices.

“In the new normal, as companies reinvent the way we work, embedding resilience into organizational operations will be essential,” the report said.

The pandemic will bring permanent changes to how businesses operate, including the implementation of smart workspaces that consider social distancing within their physical offices, while many businesses will continue to embrace remote working.

At the same time, with the increasing adoption of new wireless infrastructure, a 13% year-over-year increase, and the increase in open offices and coworking spaces, a new approach to the entire network architecture will be required.

“Companies will need the tools, knowledge and expertise to be able to re-architect the network for the short, medium and long term evolution of the new standard with people working remotely, and from there. any device at any time, ”Lopez said.

“They will need to find strategic partners who can guide them towards what the future network looks like not only in terms of supporting the corporate space, but also public and commercial areas where social distancing is generally difficult to achieve. to reach.

“For example, as we move into the new normal, AI and machine learning can be applied to help monitor social distancing measures, the network will be the catalyst for the platform,” he said. he declares.

As part of digital transformation strategies, leading organizations are already using networks to enable new business models (e.g. Internet of Things) or optimize existing operating models (e.g. asset tracking), depending on The report.

Alternatively, companies can invest in technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), as part of their digital transformation initiatives to reduce costs and scale services in an agile manner. Whatever the reason; digital transformation helps improve the customer and employee experience, powered by the network.

These initiatives will only be accelerated with the support of relevant and secure infrastructures in the new normal, in particular with regard to technological, operational and financial initiatives of companies, he indicates.

“The network is the company’s digital transformation platform. It needs to be ubiquitous, flexible, robust and secure to easily adapt to business changes, while increasing the maturity of the operational support environment, ”says Lopez.

“Companies that use a high level of automation and network intelligence to optimize their operations will gain a significant competitive advantage and reap the benefits of the cloud economy in a secure manner. “

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