Cybersecurity and smart working, Italian companies worried about the future

According to research by A10 Networks, as many as 95% of organizations have shown high levels of fear for all aspects of digital resilience. To decrease the impact of cyberattacks, 32% of companies have already adopted a Zero Trust model in the last 12 months and 13% intend to adopt it in the next 12 months. 08 Jun 2022 F. Me.

Zero Trust, cloud and remote work drive digital resilience. This is revealed by the Enterprise Perspectives 2022, the A10 Networks study previewed by CorCom, which reveals the challenges and priorities of business organizations in today's post-pandemic era, as we learn to live with the COVID-19 pandemic and how this is shaping future technological requirements. Of the 250 business organizations surveyed in Southern Europe (Italy and France), as many as 95% showed high levels of concern about all aspects of corporate digital resilience. Overall levels of concern were higher regarding resilience in dealing with future disruptions, ensuring that staff feel supported whatever style of work they wish to adopt, willingness to integrate new technologies, and optimising security tools to ensure a competitive advantage, with 97% of respondents saying they were concerned or very concerned about all of these aspects. In addition, Italian and French companies have expressed extreme concern about remote access in hybrid environments, demonstrating high awareness of the importance of balancing security and employee access to vital enterprise applications. Index of topics • Private cloud is the preferred environment • Cyber threats are on the rise • The new normal may resemble the old normal • Investment priorities Private cloud is the environment of choice Increased network traffic has compounded the challenges respondents face, with 86% of Southern European business organizations seeing increased network traffic volumes over the past 12 months. Increase that in the two countries was 53%, slightly higher than the world average of 47%.

When asked about the expected breakdown of their future network environment, 79% of southern European business organizations said it will be cloud-based with 26% indicating private cloud as their preferred environment. However, they are not reassured by their cloud service providers, with 40% stating that they fail to meet their SLAs. Cyber threats are on the rise Without a doubt, the intensifying threat landscape is causing many concerns: compared to other areas, Italian and French respondents were more concerned about the loss of sensitive data and assets in the event of a data breach due to a cyber attack. Other concerns include ransomware, the potential downtime or lockdown time in the event of a DDoS attack , and the impact this would have on brand and reputation. In response to these concerns, the research highlighted a clear shift towards Zero Trust approaches, with 32% of Southern European business organisations saying they have already adopted a Zero Trust model in the last 12 months and 13% intending to adopt it in the next 12 months. The new normal may resemble the old normal Although an infrastructure change has occurred to support distributed work from home and remotely, 70% of southern European business organizations say that all or most employees will work in the office in the long run, compared to an average of 62% in all regions surveyed. Only 11% say that a minority or no employee will work from the office and most will be remote. This is in contrast to predictions of a sea-change to a perpetually hybrid enterprise, with application and network professionals expecting the old normal to reassert themselves. "The world has changed irrevocably – commented Giacinto Spinillo, Regional Sales Manager – and the pace of digital transformation has accelerated beyond expectations. However, as we move beyond crisis mode, organizations are now focused on digital resilience, moving to the cloud, and how to strengthen their defenses. There is a clear need to help employees work the way they feel most comfortable. And we are witnessing the progressive transition to Zero Trust models. The return to the office environment could be due to the strong anxiety that IT professionals have about security, cloud and aspects of resilience and digital continuity, as well as the ability of their IT systems to cope with them." Investment priorities In terms of investment priorities, blockchain technologies have undoubtedly come of age: 37% of Italian and French organizations said they had implemented them in the last 12 months. In addition, 36% say they have implemented deep observability and connected intelligence technologies , as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Interestingly, when asked what is the most critical technology for business resilience in the coming year, IoT devices to help business functions scored the highest, followed by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technologies. Looking ahead, the adoption of cybersecurity initiatives is likely to increase, including Zero Trust models. More widespread implementation is expected as business organizations understand the benefits that come with it. The study clearly shows how unlikely the pressure on southern European businesses is to ease in the coming years. "With the intensification of threats, the post-pandemic fallout, the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, not to mention the rise in energy prices and inflation concluded Spinillo – business organizations really have to take into account many aspects. To address these issues, companies must continue to invest in modern technologies, such as Zero Trust, that enable automation and protection, along with a balance between defense and agility for an increasingly multifactorial infrastructure."