Cybersecurity Professionals Face Challenges on the Path to Automation Reveals Juniper Networks and Ponemon Institute Report  


70 percent of respondents say automation is very important for a successful security posture, but more than half are struggling with too many vendors and not enough skilled security personnel to implement

Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), maker of automated, scalable and secure networks, today announced a new study, The Challenge of Building the Right Security Automation Architecture, conducted with the Ponemon Institute that found that although enterprises understand automation is crucial to addressing the cybersecurity skills shortage and achieving a stronger security posture, the majority are experiencing challenges with determining how, when and where to automate.

By 2021, fighting cybercrime will cost businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually and there will be 3.5 million unfilled security jobs, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Echoing this issue, 57 percent of survey respondents say they are unable to recruit the skilled personnel needed to deploy their security automation tools. As cybercriminals continue to automate attacks without being subject to the same regulations and compliance constraints, organizations are struggling with understaffed security teams, manual processes, disparate systems and complex policies that leave them buried in low value tasks.

“The cybercrime landscape is incredibly vast, organized and automated – cybercriminals have deep pockets and no rules, so they set the bar,” said Amy James, Director of Security Portfolio Marketing at Juniper Networks. “Organizations need to level the playing field. You simply cannot have manual security solutions and expect to successfully battle cybercriminals, much less get ahead of their next moves. Automation is crucial.”

Report Highlights:

Security Automation is a Must

The growing threat landscape and security skills gap facing cybersecurity teams demand that organizations implement automation for a stronger security posture. Respondents recognize this growing importance and how automation can improve productivity, address the growing volume of threats and reduce the rate of false positives.

  • The top two benefits of security automation, according to respondents, are: increased productivity of security personnel (64 percent) and automated correlation of threat behavior to address the volume of threats (60 percent).
  • 54 percent of respondents say these automation technologies simplify the process of detecting and responding to cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

Vendor Sprawl is Creating Chaos

Today, security environments are more complex and cybercriminals are more determined than ever, yet organizations are utilizing security solutions built on stand-alone security tools, resulting in vendor sprawl and ineffective security strategies. Organizations now recognize that the ability to integrate disparate security technologies is the main challenge to achieving an effective security automation architecture, according to 71 percent of respondents.

  • 57 percent have interoperability issues among security technologies that diminish the effectiveness of automation technologies.
  • 63 percent say it is difficult to integrate security automation technologies and tools with legacy systems.
  • 59 percent believe their organization needs to streamline its number of vendors.

 Skills Shortage is a Barrier

As a result of this vendor sprawl, security practitioners are finding themselves bogged down for nearly two hours each day processing alerts, events and logs to find malicious activity, according to the study. This leaves them with limited manpower to implement critical automation technologies and results in diminishing security postures. On top of that, the market is dry when it comes to skilled security personnel.

  • Only 35 percent say their organizations currently have the in-house expertise to be effective in using security automation to respond to malicious threats.
  • 62 percent say the lack of in-house expertise diminishes their organization’s security posture.
  • 57 percent say they are unable to recruit knowledgeable or skilled personnel to deploy their security automation tools.

About the Report:

“The Challenge of Building the Right Security Automation Architecture” report, sponsored by Juniper Networks and conducted by Ponemon Institute, highlights findings and insights derived from a sample of 1,859 IT and IT security practitioners located in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States and who are familiar with their organizations’ use of security automation and have some responsibility for evaluating and/or selecting security automation technologies and vendors.