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Friday, June 21, 2024

Fortinet Asia-Pacific SASE Survey reveals ‘Branch-Office-of-One’ still a challenge for network security in hybrid work era

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The survey highlights the importance of single vendor SASE to secure remote workers amidst the surge of unmanaged devices and increased security incidents.


Fortinet®, the global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, unveiled the findings of a new Asia-Pacific SASE survey commissioned by Fortinet from IDC on Monday.

The report is based on a recent survey conducted by IDC across nine countries in Asia/Pacific and explores cybersecurity leaders’ perspectives on hybrid work, particularly how it impacted their organizations in the last year and their strategies to mitigate the security challenges arising from the adoption of hybrid work.

From left: Daniel Kwong- Field CISO, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong , Alan Reyes, Country Manager Fortinet Philippines, Kelvin Chua, Director System Engineering Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Key findings from the survey include:

The Rise of the ‘Branch-Office-of-One’: According to the survey, 88% of respondents in The Philippines have a hybrid or fully remote working model, with more than two-thirds (58%) having at least 50% of their employees working in hybrid mode. This shift to remote work has resulted in employees becoming ‘branch offices of one,’ working from their homes or other locations outside the traditional office. Consequently, 48% of respondents in The Philippines anticipate managed devices to surge by more than 100% over the next two years (with some expecting growth of 400%). Additionally, 76% in The Philippines expect unmanaged devices to grow by over 50%. This is expected to compound the complexity and risk of security breaches, placing additional strain on already overburdened IT security teams.

Unmanaged Devices Pose a Risk: With cloud computing and remote work becoming more prevalent, an increasing number of users, devices, and data are located outside of enterprise networks. Currently, 30% of devices connecting to networks in The Philippines are unmanaged, raising the possibility of security breaches. Survey respondents in The Philippines expect this figure to rise, with 76% predicting a 50% increase by 2025.

The Need to Secure Cloud: With hybrid work increasing, employees require multiple connections to external systems and cloud applications to remain productive. Survey respondents indicated that their employees in The Philippines need more than 30 connections to third-party cloud applications, increasing the risk of security breaches. Over the next two years, 100% of respondents in The Philippines expect this number to double, while more than 70% feel that this number will triple, exacerbating the risk. Maintaining network security while ensuring employee connectivity to third-party and cloud-based services is a significant challenge, as traditional security measures are inadequate.

Increased Security Incidents: Hybrid work and the growth in managed and unmanaged connections have caused a significant rise in security incidents, with 62% of surveyed organizations in The Philippines reporting more than triple the number of breaches. According to the Survey, 94% of respondents in The Philippines have experienced at least a 2X increase in security incidents. The top security incidents include phishing, denial of service, data/identity theft, ransomware, and data loss. However, only 49% of organizations across Asia have dedicated security personnel, which leaves them more vulnerable to security incidents and breaches.

SASE: a Game-Changer for Hybrid Work: To tackle the challenges of hybrid work, many organizations across The Philippines plan to invest in a Single-Vendor SASE solution to improve their security posture and provide consistency in the user experience for remote employees. The need for a comprehensive solution that offers a consistent security posture for users on and off the network while simplifying security policy management and enhancing the user experience for remote employees is driving many organizations to explore SASE.

The Preference for a Single Vendor: As organizations adopt SASE to manage networking and security services, they are seeking a converged platform to streamline their operations. According to the survey, 76% of respondents across The Philippines prefer a single vendor for networking and security capabilities, with 82% consolidating or in the process of consolidating their IT security vendors. More than half (54%) of the respondents prefer a single vendor for cloud-delivered security services and SDWAN, citing various benefits such as reduced security gaps, improved network performance, ease of deployment, and addressing integration and scalability challenges.

Alan Reyes, Country Manager, Fortinet Philippines, said, “As Philippines continues to embrace the digital future and become a leader in the digital economy, it is essential that we acknowledge the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks and data breaches. The shortage of skilled talent in the cybersecurity industry only makes this issue more challenging. At Fortinet, we are committed to bridging the skills gap and providing the necessary cybersecurity knowledge and awareness to all employees in an organization. With our Single-Vendor SASE solution, we aim to simplify security policy management and enhance the user experience for remote employees, helping The Philippines n businesses address the security challenges of the changing workforce.”

Daniel Kwong, Field CISO for SEA, and HK, said, “As the world shifts to hybrid work, organizations face the challenge of securing a ‘branch-office-of-one’ environment where employees and devices operate outside of traditional office boundaries. The Survey underscores the urgency for organizations to adopt a comprehensive security strategy that addresses the complexity and risk posed by the growth of remote work. Single-Vendor SASE, with its converged networking and security capabilities, is proving to be a game-changer for many organizations seeking a simplified and consistent security posture for users both on and off the network.”

Simon Piff, Research Vice President, IDC Asia/Pacific, said, “These findings highlight the importance of prioritizing security posture and investing in cloud-delivered solutions that seamlessly integrate with on-prem solutions to manage hybrid work environments and mitigate risks. The preference for a single vendor and infrastructure convergence demonstrates the need for efficient management, and zero-trust architecture can enhance security and usability. Organizations need to address these challenges and invest in security solutions to support their hybrid workforce and reduce security threats.”

The survey was conducted among 450 cybersecurity leaders from 9 different locations across Asia (Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam)

Survey respondents came from nine industries, including manufacturing (14%), Retail (13%), Logistics (14%), Healthcare (13%), FSI (10%), and Public Sector (11%).

Fortinet is a driving force in the evolution of cybersecurity and the convergence of networking and security. Its mission is to secure people, devices, and data everywhere, and today it delivers cybersecurity everywhere it’s needed with the largest integrated portfolio of over 50 enterprise-grade products. Well over half a million customers trust Fortinet’s solutions, which are among the most deployed, most patented, and most validated in the industry.

The Fortinet Training Institute, one of the largest and broadest training programs in the industry, is dedicated to making cybersecurity training and new career opportunities available to everyone. FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s elite threat intelligence and research organization, develops and utilizes leading-edge machine learning and AI technologies to provide customers with timely and consistently top-rated protection and actionable threat intelligence.

Learn more at https://www.fortinet.com, the Fortinet Blog, and FortiGuard Labs.

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