MSP Expo Sponsor Cato Networks Finds Networking and Security Teams Convergence is Embraced Among IT Leaders

MSP Expo Sponsor Cato Networks Finds Networking and Security Teams Convergence is Embraced Among IT Leaders

By Greg Tavarez

As the old saying goes, everyone is important to the structure and success of an organization. For the IT structure, that means the networking teams and security teams, each with distinct roles in maintaining network functionality and safeguarding digital assets.

Networking teams are primarily responsible for designing, implementing and managing the organization's network infrastructure. This includes creating and maintaining local and wide area networks, managing network devices like routers and switches, and ensuring seamless connectivity for all devices within the network. They also work om optimizing network performance, scaling the infrastructure as the organization grows, and implementing basic security measures such as firewalls and access controls.

Security teams, on the other hand, focus on protecting the organization's digital assets from a multitude of cyber threats. Their role encompasses risk assessment, incident response, and compliance with industry regulations. Security teams develop and enforce security policies, educate employees about security best practices, and deploy and manage various security tools and technologies.

For the organization, the two teams attempt to strike a balance between network functionality and data protection, and IT leaders are noticing today that operations are improved if the two teams converge.

In fact, 82% of IT leaders indicate that security and networking teams are consolidating or have a management directive to improve collaboration, and almost one-fourth indicate that security and networking responsibilities were handled by one team, according to a recent survey by MSP Expo sponsor Cato Networks.

Let’s look at this from the security team’s point of view. Collaborating closely with networking teams, security teams ensure that the network infrastructure is secure, enabling the implementation of effective security measures to protect against malware, hacking attempts and data breaches.

An example the survey used is Carlsberg, a well-known brewer:

Bringing together networking and security teams allowed Carlsberg to pinpoint and address possible vulnerabilities introduced by alterations in the network and detect operational problems related to security adjustments more rapidly.

"For Carlsberg, networking and security operations are ultimately about the same thing: ensuring the beer keeps flowing,” said Tal Arad, the CISO and Head of Technology at Carlsberg. “Blurring the lines between networking and security people, I think, is the right way to achieve that goal.”

As these teams unite, their inclination is to adopt a unified platform tailored to their specific functions. Presently, two-thirds of organizations employ distinct platforms for managing and operating security and networking, but this trend is expected to shift, as three-fourths of survey participants express their belief in the potential for enhanced teamwork between networking and security teams through the adoption of a single, integrated platform.

That said, the two teams occasionally bump heads with each other – 34% of survey respondents report occasional problems or outright turf wars between security and networking teams. Turf wars often result in delays, miscommunications and inefficiencies, hindering an organization's ability to respond effectively to cybersecurity threats and maintain a secure and reliable network infrastructure.

So, it makes sense that management is driving alignment among teams.

"The convergence of networking and security teams in organizations is no longer an afterthought. It is an action that IT leaders are embracing and adopting," said Eyal Webber-Zvik, Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategic Alliances at Cato Networks. "As organizations strive to combat today's cyber threats, enriching security operations with network visibility and intelligence is essential.”

Cato Networks is a Gold sponsor of MSP Expo, taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February 13-15, 2024. Part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW, MSP Expo is the premier event for MSPs, offering a three-day experience combining conference education, networking opportunities, an exhibit hall full of the latest technologies and solutions to help MSPs build their business, and more. Cato Networks will be in booth #543 in the exhibit hall.

Edited by Alex Passett
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