07 May 2019
A report by cloud security specialist Zscaler has found that 72 per cent of organisations said the majority of their employees accessed applications and data in the cloud or the data centre on their mobile devices.
The Digital Transformation Report EMEA 2019 also said 29 per cent of companies claimed that number to be more than 75 per cent across the UK, Germany, France, and the Benelux region.
This high rate of mobility coincides with the top drivers for digital transformation initiatives, which include enabling greater flexibility for employees (37 per cent) and implementing more efficient processes (38 per cent).
Security topped the list across all four regions, with 80 per cent of enterprises harbouring security concerns about the way in which employees remotely access data and applications, with the primary focus on the use of unsecured networks (34 per cent) and unmanaged devices (21 per cent) as well as blanket access to the entire corporate network (20 per cent).
The report further found that enterprises embarking on digital transformation initiatives are beginning to recognise that the traditional way of providing remote access connectivity to their applications residing in the cloud or corporate networks “are riddled” with security risks.
“Digital transformation is a powerful business enabler with many potential benefits—from added flexibility for employees to cost and efficiency savings —and it must be a process involving input from all aspects of the business, not just IT,” said Stan Lowe, global CISO at Zscaler. “With applications moving to the cloud, and users connecting from everywhere, the perimeter is long gone.
It’s therefore time to decouple security from the network and use policies that are enforced anywhere applications reside and everywhere users connect. Ultimately, as applications move to the cloud, security needs to move there too.”
The report also found that digital transformation is predominantly an IT decision, however business decisionmakers are increasingly driving this initiative, such as the chief information officer (54 per cent) and chief digital officer (47 per cent). Furthermore, 18 per cent claimed their chief executive officers are pushing for and owning digital transformation. The main reasons for embarking on a digital transformation journey were increased flexibility for employees (37 per cent), a new business strategy to focus on core competencies (36 per cent), improved profit margins (36 per cent) and increased cost savings (35 per cent).
“Companies have to consider the effect that application transformation has on their network performance, bandwidth consumption and the latency added by hub-and-spoke architectures from the outset,” Lowe added. “Moving applications to the cloud needs to be considered in-line with new network infrastructure and security requirements. The new imperative is direct-to-internet access with security policies that protect users, regardless of their location or chosen device.”