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New research shows UK businesses falling behind on adoption of new security approaches

New research has shown that a staggering 67 per cent of businesses don’t have a secure remote access solution in place as businesses continue remote operations.

The Zscaler State of Digital Transformation Report EMEA 2020 also shows that nearly half (48%) of the European enterprises expect the number of people working remotely to grow between 25-50% in the next year, however, only a third of the decision makers (33%) are confident they have a secure remote access infrastructure in place.

However, just over a third (34%) of organisations are evaluating new security solutions based on the growing remote workforce requirements. When asked about their knowledge and plans around secure-access service edge (SASE), the user-focused security framework defined by Gartner, 55% plan to adopt this approach, either transitioning all entities at the same time (36%) or transitioning separate entities (branch offices, mobile entities etc.) over time (19%).

Whilst almost half (49%) of German and Swedish and 41% of Dutch businesses plan to transition all entities to SASE at the same time, UK businesses are already falling behind. Only 27% of UK businesses plan to transition all at once, putting the country at a disadvantage, as German, Swedish and Dutch businesses will reap the rewards of a SASE approach far quicker.

As the uncertainty over Brexit looms over the nation, many British businesses are scrambling to stay competitive at a global level and remain attractive prospects to do business with.

With the most commonly cited benefits of a SASE approach being reducing risk of security threats and data loss (50%), improved network visibility and control across all users and cloud platforms (39%) and reduced complexity and increased agility of infrastructure (36%), companies can avoid millions in fines or the loss of customer confidence associated with data breaches, ensure more efficient delivery of a flexible workforce, and benefit from a faster rollout of new products and services. The UK’s organisations must ensure they do not fall behind on embracing new approaches like SASE in order to retain a competitive edge on a global scale.

“What only a year ago was a rather obscure framework that few seemed to pay too much attention to, the recent huge cloud uptake has pushed it up the agenda. If businesses can get their SASE adoption right, it could make the security challenges they’re currently facing a thing of the past,” said Nathan Howe, Head of Transformation Strategy EMEA at Zscaler.

The report also found that the move to cloud has, more specifically, been the move to multi-cloud. On average, nearly half (49%) of the respondents said they operate in a multi-cloud set-up of two cloud service providers, whilst a third already have three providers. Only 13% are currently using one cloud provider. Country by country there are differences in cloud diversity. 30% of the UK’s businesses have already moved to three cloud service providers, putting the country in the middle of the range – Sweden (52%) and the Netherlands (42%) are the most diversified, while in Italy and Germany, most respondents operate with two cloud providers. The biggest challenge faced in a multi-cloud set-up (36%) is securing them.