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IT management, network

Douglas Murray | May 31, 2013
The Asia Pacific region has undergone several decades of rapid growth and it doesn't show signs of slowing anytime soon.

The Asia Pacific region has undergone several decades of rapid growth and it doesn't show signs of slowing anytime soon. Asia is now home to the world's largest internet and mobile population and correspondingly, the surge in network demand has been exponential.

From large-scale, national broadband infrastructures in countries such as Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, to mass broadband and mobile adoption in China and India, Asia Pacific remains one of the most dynamic and diverse regions in the world in technology and network adoption. While there are varying stages of network development across the region, there is one issue that prevails throughout -- network security.

History has taught us a few things: security threats will continue to grow steadily and become more sophisticated over time, security threats can creep up and hit at any time, and waiting to react after the fact can be very costly. The Ponemon Institute is a long time provider of comprehensive surveys of the security industry. One of its latest studies - "Efficacy of Emerging Network Security Technologies", surveyed 2,054 IT and IT security professionals in Japan, China, Australia and India to understand concerns and security threats that they encounter at their companies on a daily basis.

Findings show that despite feeling confident in their security technology investments, enterprises in Asia Pacific still believe that they are at great risk, with theft of their organizations' intellectual property being one of the top concerns that keep them up at night.

In his book "The Black Swan," Nicholas Taleb describes the impact that unexpected events, outliers, and ones as rare as the sighting of a black swan, have on people and society. He gives as examples September 11, 2001, World War I and Google, noting that if we can turn black swans to white, the damage and risk associated with the unknown can be greatly mitigated and the opportunity harnessed. I think this premise of preparing for black swans is the cautionary advice to be gleaned from the latest Ponemon Institute study.

Some thought-provoking and sobering results from this study include the fact that organizations in Asia Pacific are witnessing a growing sophistication of cyber-attacks and a changing threat landscape despite investing in the latest security technology.

Additionally, the security posture of Australian organizations surveyed was rated the lowest at 4.5 (based on a scale of 10 being very effective), while that of China was rated the highest at 5.3. Similarly, Chinese and Japanese respondents rated their organizations better (a rating of 5.0 and above based on a scale of 10 being excellent) in detection and prevention of cyber-attacks than those in India and Australia.

Organizations across Asia Pacific recognize the need to attract competent and skilled security professionals, especially because 52 percent of the respondents believed that emerging network security technologies used by their organization are dependent upon in-house personnel who possess the knowledge and expertise to operate them effectively.


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