By: Lauren Adams

New Independent Study Finds Enterprise Security Experts Prefer Integrated, Cloud-Delivered Security Platforms

Nearly All IT Security Decision Makers—98%—Recognize Integrated Cloud Security Platforms As Delivering Better Functionality Than Point Solutions

Zscaler Inc., the Internet security company, today revealed the findings of The Necessity Of Cloud-Delivered Integrated Security Platforms, a 2015 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, which uncovered that security experts overwhelmingly believe that security should be delivered as a platform, and that cloud-delivered security offers better protection at a lower cost than traditional on-premise security appliances.

Overwhelmingly, 98 percent of security professionals who participated in the study said that integrated security platforms would be effective to both improve their security posture and to reduce overall costs. 82 percent indicated that they are seeking advanced security capabilities they can launch within the year. They also indicated strong preferences for crowd-sourcing and machine learning, which require the big data captured by cloud-based security platforms to be effective.

“As organizations focus on required processes and technologies to secure confidential information, they often express dismay with the multitude of point solutions and the number of appliances in their security portfolio,” noted the study. “The resulting needs of security professionals are loud and clear: simple and powerful ways to protect data without the proliferation of appliances. These are the hallmarks of integrated, cloud-delivered security.”

With a rise in scrutiny from customers amid a recent swell of cyber attacks, CISOs have become protectors of both sensitive data and their company’s brand. This has proven to be a difficult task in a time of fast-paced technological advances that have left traditional appliance-based safeguards behind.

“I believe that the new study results overwhelmingly indicate that the traditional security industry is out of touch with the needs of today’s security professionals,” said Jay Chaudhry, CEO at Zscaler. “98 percent say they want security as a platform, but security vendors continue to deliver point solutions. They recognize that cloud-delivered security both reduces costs and provides better protection, but the vendors are still cranking out appliances. It’s like a case study for the Innovator’s dilemma – and makes it easy to understand why Zscaler’s cloud-delivered Internet security platform is gaining such rapid adoption.”

As part of the study, which was conducted on behalf of Zscaler, Forrester conducted an in-depth survey of 130 US IT security or strategy decision-makers at firms with at least $250 million in annual revenue. Key findings include:

  • Nearly all (98%) decision-makers recognize that integrated platforms can deliver better security functionality than point solutions. CISOs need to look at their security tools in a new light, focusing on seamlessly incorporating these tools or replacing them with an integrated security platform delivered from a flexible cloud infrastructure.
  • Complexity and cost reduction plus improved security rank as the primary benefits of cloud-based security-as-a-service. Cloud delivery of an integrated security platform provides big opportunities for CISOs to reduce complexity and costs, while at the same time improving their security posture.
  • Organizations that are adopting cloud computing, mobility and the Internet of Things need cloud-based security to make this transition safe. Existing appliance-based security architectures simply don’t make sense for securing globally deployed endpoints or data residing in cloud applications.
  • Most decision makers (82%) require advanced security functionality now. CISOs face the threats that require functionality such as automated machine learning, crowd shared threat intelligence, integration between security products and strong encryption technologies sooner rather than later.

You can download a copy of the Forrester Consulting study and watch Forrester analyst Martin Whitworth discuss the study and its implications here.

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