Tuesday, 19th October 2021

Anomalous activity goes undetected

ManageEngine has published the findings of its "State of IT in the UK—2019" survey. Conducted on behalf of the company by Vitreous World, an independent research consultancy, the study of 400 IT decision-makers working in organisations of all sizes explores their experiences dealing with IT security, GDPR compliance and cloud migration, and investigates what technologies they see having a real impact in the future.

In 2017, ManageEngine launched a survey to evaluate the IT landscape in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The latest survey has been extended to include large organisations and enterprises. It has found that businesses of all sizes lack the ability to detect anomalous activity in their IT networks. While only 12 percent of respondents working in enterprises believe that their organisation has that capability, the corresponding figure in SMEs and large organisations fared slightly better (21 percent).

Other key findings include:

IT Security Concerns

  • Seventy-two percent of all respondents don’t use a comprehensive vulnerability management solution to detect, assess, prioritise, patch and mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities in their network.
  • Only 21 percent of all respondents say they are capable of detecting complex attack patterns by correlating event information across devices and through user behaviour analytics (UBA).
  • In terms of using preventive practices to mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities, IT professionals in SMEs and large organisations state they do this more (24 percent) than their counterparts in enterprises (14 percent).
  • Thirty-one percent of all respondents cite cost as the main barrier to securing additional resources for better IT security, while a lack of understanding of how poor their security is (22 percent) turns out to be the second biggest barrier.

Cloud Adoption

  • Ninety-six percent of SMEs use some form of cloud technology, a significant increase from 87 percent recorded in ManageEngine’s 2017 UK survey. The breakdown for SMEs is 39 percent private (vs. 21 percent in 2017), 37 percent hybrid (vs. 40 percent in 2017) and 20 percent public (vs. 26 percent in 2017).
  • The main reasons why SMEs are investing in cloud technology are security (55 percent), CRM tools (39 percent), business productivity (38 percent) and analytics and reporting (38 percent).
  • Seventy-nine percent of all respondents plan to increase their spending on cloud computing within the next 12 months.

GDPR Compliance

  • Just over half (54 percent) of SMEs believe they are fully GDPR-compliant. In 2017, 81 percent of SMEs said they were prepared to meet GDPR requirements.
  • The reasons given by SMEs, large organisations and enterprises for not being compliant include working with legacy systems (48 percent), lack of awareness (43 percent) and lack of financial investment (42 percent).
  • The majority of enterprise respondents (70 percent) believe they are fully GDPR-compliant.

The Way Forward

  • The technologies deemed to have the most impact in the coming years for all respondents are artificial intelligence (43 percent), the Internet of Everything (37 percent) and machine learning (29 percent).
  • AI is more likely to play a big part in the business operations of enterprises (52 percent) than in the business operations of SMEs and large organisations (35 percent).
  • Companies of all sizes agree that all three technologies above will help reduce time spent on manual processes (59 percent), provide additional time to work more strategically with other business units (53 percent), help detect user and network anomalies (48 percent) and provide greater visibility into network issues (46 percent).

“The State of IT in the UK—2019 survey report provides unique insight into the role IT departments play in UK organisations. The survey found that 89 percent of business managers have a good understanding of IT’s role in their organisation. This places IT in a strong position to make recommendations on strategic business decisions, such as moving to the cloud or implementing new technologies,” said Sridhar Iyengar, managing director at Zoho Corporation, Europe.

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