Do not underestimate the power of the network, experts say

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Network transformation should be seen as being essential to delivering the levels of resilience and security required by modern businesses, expert said.

Despite this, 57 per cent of UAE IT heads say that it is really challenging to gain end-to-end visibility of their network. New research by VMware, in partnership with Forrester, also showed that 39 per cent of IT companies feel that the challenges associated with this lack of visibility has resulted in a misalignment between security and IT teams. In addition, 36 per cent also said that they have no plans to implement a consolidated IT and security strategy.

"Businesses who are looking to adapt to fast-changing market conditions rely on the ability to efficiently connect, run and secure modern applications consistently, from the data centre, across any cloud and all the way to the device; and it is the virtual cloud network that is delivering this," said Amin Hanafieh, country manager for the UAE at VMware.

The network, he said, needs to be recognised as the DNA of any modern security, cloud and app strategy, and it should be seen as "a strategic tool and not merely the plumbing."

Alongside the inconsistency in how the role of the network in security is perceived, there is a lack of cohesion within the IT and security teams as to who is responsible for network security.

VMware's data showed that 52 per cent of networking teams in the UAE are currently involved in the development of security strategies. Yet, 76 per cent of these are involved in the execution of security, signalling that networking teams are not seen as having an equal role with the other IT or security teams when it comes to cybersecurity.

Recent research by Oracle and KPMG revealed that only eight per cent of IT security executives state that they fully understand the cloud shared responsibility security model. To address increasing data security concerns and trust issues, cloud service providers and IT teams need to work together to build a security-first culture. This includes hiring, training, and retaining skilled IT security professionals, and constantly improving processes and technologies to help mitigate threats in an increasingly expanding digital world.

Dragan Petkovic, Security and Systems Management at Oracle EMEA region, said that developers need to include security from the beginning with minimum requirements of multi-factor authentication (MFA), risk-based authentication, and robust access management. "New channels are likely to be cloud-based; recommendation applies regardless of the deployment model, however," he said.

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Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Al Khaleej Today. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in , feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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