Cyber Security Skills Shortages Driving Outsourcing: new NETSCOUT research

Investment in security tools a double edge sword, with industry expressing near-universal need to reduce operational complexity / Difficulties hiring staff and lack of resources cited as top challenges as security outsourcing booms

(PresseBox) ( WESTFORD, Mass., )
Despite heavy investment in security tools, businesses in Germany and throughout the world are struggling to deal with cyber threats, new research from NETSCOUT today reveals. Offering direct insights into the security and operational challenges facing service providers and enterprise network operators, NETSCOUT’s Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR) unearthed a clear and urgent need for companies to simplify operational security processes to tackle mounting threats, with 92% of respondents stating they sought to reduce complexity. Other findings showed that resourcing challenges are fueling a surge in outsourced services, while security concerns are holding back cloud migration. In Germany, challenges are further compounded by the fact that the country has the smallest dedicated IT security teams of all regions surveyed, including the US, UK, Brazil and Japan.

Darren Anstee, CTO, Security, NETSCOUT: “Our research reveals that the average enterprise has 22 security tools in place – and – anecdotally we know that some have far more. Businesses have invested in new tools and technologies to deal with new threats, but this hasn’t resulted in a reduction in risk.  A complex security stack can lead to an inconsistent picture of what is really going on, slowing down operational processes and reducing the effectiveness of security personnel, whilst creating gaps for attackers to exploit. As a result, companies are waking up to the fact that they need a well-integrated security stack and a consistent view across their virtual, physical and cloud resources.”

Operational challenges are further compounded by difficulty in hiring and retaining skilled personnel, which, together with lack of headcount or resources, were cited as the top challenges faced by security leaders.  NETSCOUT’s findings show that this is driving an increased reliance on outsourced services, with 31% of enterprises in Germany outsourcing at least a part of their security operation. This trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, with 50% of respondents stating they expect to increase their investment in outsourced services in the next 12 months.

“In leaning on outsourced security professionals, businesses are identifying the short-falls of their internal processes and capabilities and are moving to address risk in the only way they can.” added Anstee. “There is nothing wrong with this strategy, as long as businesses are clear that they still own the underlying risk.”

Adding to the challenge facing organizations is an evolution in DDoS attack size, with 89% of German companies that experienced an attack indicating that their internet connectivity was saturated on at least one occasion. These kinds of threats are hindering digital transformation, with over 50% of respondents stating that security concerns are a barrier to cloud adoption.

Attacks against SaaS services in the last 12 months have increased by over a third, whilst attacks aimed at third party data centers and cloud services doubled. It is clear that hackers are evolving their tactics to target evolving IT infrastructures. Service providers are also seeing attacks against cloud infrastructure increase, although around a quarter admitted to not knowing whether they had seen or were subject to attacks.

 “Pretty much every business is either adopting, or looking at adopting cloud, in one way or another,” continued Anstee. “DDoS attacks represent the number one external threat to the availability of cloud services. Having no ability to monitor for such attacks, or not being concerned, strikes us as a lesson waiting to be learned.”

However, progress is being made with the widespread adoption of specialized DDoS migration strategies, including cloud-based services and multi-layered solutions. Enterprises expressed a growing awareness of the damage which DDoS attacks can have on business activities, with nearly ninety percent of organisations now assessing DDoS risks on a recurring basis, either from an IT or business perspective.

Survey Overview

NETSCOUT surveyed service providers who can offer direct insights into a wide range of topics, from cyber-attacks to major industry trends such as SDN/NFV and Digital Transformation, to key organizational issues such as incident response training, staffing, and budgets. This year, for the first time, NETSCOUT partnered with Intelliclear to reach enterprise security, network and IT decision makers across seven countries, US, Canada, Brazil, UK, France, Germany and Japan.

Additional Resources


Visit the NETSCOUT ASERT blog for insight on various aspects of the report and to download the full report
Follow us on Facebookand follow @Netscout on Twitter for more key findings.
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