Skip to main content

IT Security Leaders Prioritize Investments in Automation, Zero Trust and API-based Security to Protect a Rapidly Transforming IT Ecosystem

Global Independent Study of 500 Senior Level Respondents Provides Clear Picture for the Future of Network Security

Dallas, Texas | March 23, 2021 – Distinct priorities have emerged when it comes to responding to the needs of IT security’s rapid transformation, independent research sponsored by FireMon has found. The survey of 500 cybersecurity leaders across North America and EMEA uncovered the key investments organizations are making, and the rationale behind their decisions.

“The study shows that a cocktail of multiplying threats, the proliferation of hybrid and cloud architectures, blended with a pandemic-fueled explosion in distributed and remote work has created a perfect storm for network security teams,” said Satin H. Mirchandani, President and CEO of FireMon.  “It’s no wonder that they’re adding new technologies, architectures, and approaches to ensure their networks remain protected.”

The survey identified five major areas for network security investment:

  • Automation – More than 50 percent of organizations are currently investing in automating policy management to safeguard against inefficient and risky functions and 79 percent say they’ll implement security orchestration and automation within two years to improve agility and responsiveness.
  • Zero Trust – 45 percent of organizations plan to implement a Zero Trust in the next 12 months, adding to the 17 percent of organizations that have already begun this process. The biggest drivers are a greater need for secure remote access (72 percent), reducing cybersecurity risk (70 percent), and supporting the transition to cloud architectures (51 percent).
  • Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) – 85 percent of organizations have either already implemented a SASE platform or plan to do so within two years.
  • Security-Development Misalignment – 82 percent of IT leaders admit their application development (DevOps) and network security operations teams are not well
  • Heterogeneity and Integration – With growing complexity and heterogeneity, 95% of respondents are concerned about the lack of integration of network security platforms and their IT infrastructure.

From an automation perspective, respondents cited the need to increase security agility and accelerate responsiveness and reduce the mean time to discover and resolve security incidents as the major drivers. This indicates that network security’s growing complexity has rendered manual processes insufficient to keep up with accelerating rates of change.  Automation is now an imperative.

Based on the survey findings, it is also clear that Zero Trust Architecture will achieve broad adoption to support the transition to cloud architectures and ensure security for an increasingly remote workforce.  Both trends were accelerated by COVID-19 and are highly unlikely to be reversed.

As part of this transition to cloud-based architectures, many respondents plan to implement a SASE platform to reduce cost and complexity, and improve security for their distributed and mobile workforce.

However, there is a risk of lack of alignment in a rush to balance the transition to cloud-based environments while still managing legacy infrastructure. This is especially the case when it comes to network security operations and application development and delivery processes. This misalignment causes slower application deployment, increases risk of downtime, and creates friction between security and development teams.

To gain greater alignment among security and development processes, more than 8 out of 10 organizations are looking to better integrate their systems via open APIs. This allows them to inject security capabilities into their preferred workflows, enabling greater flexibility and smoothing collaboration between groups.

“Network security is in the midst of a tectonic shift. New technologies and approaches will rapidly become the norm, forcing security teams to rethink how they manage access policies and ensure compliance in a changing and highly heterogeneous world,” concludes Mirchandani.

The research is based on a survey completed in January 2021 by Pulse Media, a research firm with a 27 000-member knowledge community. The survey included 500 directors, vice presidents, and C-Suite executives involved in IT security for organizations with 1,000 employees or more across North America and EMEA. Industries represented included Finance, Banking & Insurance, Retail, Health Care and Social Assistance, Utilities, and Government.

About FireMon

FireMon is the only agile network security policy platform for firewalls and cloud security groups providing the fastest way to streamline network security policy management, which is one of the biggest impediments to IT and enterprise agility. Since creating the first-ever network security policy management solution, FireMon has delivered command and control over complex network security infrastructures for more than 1,700 customers located in nearly 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit

Sarah Shkargi
[email protected]

June 17, 2024

Four Common Firewall Misconfigurations That Give Access To Bad Actors

June 11, 2024 in FireMon Asset Manager

Asset Discovery: A Must Have for Understanding Your Complete Attack Surface

Asset Discovery: A Must Have for Understanding Your Complete Attack Surface Asset Discovery, a.k.a. You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See Why Speed is Important to Asset Discovery In Summary…
Read More
April 9, 2024 in Firewall

A Practical History of the Firewall – Part 4: The Next Generation

The Next-Generation Firewall Market Penetration of the Next-Gen Firewall The Platform The Future of the Firewall Book a DemoJody Brazil CEO at FireMon As hardware and software performance improved, the…
Read More
April 9, 2024 in Firewall

A Practical History of the Firewall – Part 3: Performance Takes Center Stage

The Rise of the ASIC The Appliance Becomes the Standard Security Goes Mainstream Book a DemoJody Brazil CEO at FireMon By the early 2000s, proxies had lost, and stateful inspection…
Read More
April 9, 2024 in Firewall

A Practical History of the Firewall – Part 2: The Value of Management

The Check Point Policy Editor The Check Point Central Object Repository Central Logging Multi-Domain Management and OPSEC Cisco and the CLI were a Dominant Player Book a DemoJody Brazil CEO…
Read More

Get 9x

Book your demo now

Sign Up Now