Akamai Technologies, the cloud company that powers and protects life online, today released a new report highlighting the increase in ransomware, the adoption of Zero Trust, and the benefits of micro segmentation. The State of Segmentation 2023 found that organizations surveyed experienced an average of 86 ransomware attacks in the past 12 months, up from an average of 43 annual attacks two years ago. Security organizations have responded to the recent rise in attacks by implementing Zero Trust and micro segmentation strategies. Nearly all (99%) of respondents who reported that they have deployed some form of segmentation have also deployed a Zero Trust security framework.
The report is based on input from 1,200 IT and security decision-makers from around the world. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that micro segmentation is an effective tool to keep assets protected, but deployment was lower than expected, with only 30% of organizations segmenting across more than two business critical areas. Globally, the top obstacles to deploying micro segmentation are a lack of skills/expertise (39%) followed by increased performance bottlenecks (39%), and compliance requirements (38%). Almost all of those surveyed, no matter the sector, industry, or country, reported the same obstacles to slightly different extents.
Despite slow deployments, organizations that have persevered and implemented a micro segmentation strategy across six mission-critical areas reported recovering from an attack in an average of only four hours. That’s 11 hours faster than organizations that have only segmented across one critical area, underscoring the effectiveness of a Zero Trust strategy that utilizes micro segmentation.
“The cybersecurity landscape is always evolving and shifting based on the latest threat methodologies developed by cybercriminals. Whether it’s defending against ransomware, new zero-days, or sophisticated phishing attacks, it’s vital that organizations reevaluate their risks to protect their critical assets,” said Steve Winterfield, Advisory CISO at Akamai. “One of the key ways to do this is with a Zero Trust architecture. That means utilizing a combination of Zero Trust Network Access and micro segmentation integrated as part of a clear security strategy supported by access to staff and partners with necessary skills.”
Other findings from the report include:
- Of all respondents, 93% claimed that micro segmentation is critical to help thwart ransomware attacks.
- Network downtime (44%), data loss (42%), and brand/reputation damage (39%) were the most common issues impacting organizations after a ransomware attack.
- The U.S. and Germany reported the most ransomware attacks over the past year, with the U.S. at 115 and Germany at 110.
- India leads the way in segmentation, with 58% of organizations reporting more than two assets/areas being segmented, followed by Mexico with 48% and Japan with 32%.
Akamai partnered with Vanson Bourne to interview 1,200 IT and security decision-makers in 10 countries to measure the progress organizations have made in securing their environments, focusing on the role of segmentation.
They were asked questions related to their IT security approaches and segmentation strategies, as well as about the threats their organization faced during 2023. These findings give us insight into how security strategies have changed since 2021, and where progress still needs to be made.
Security personnel and decision-makers from the U.S, Mexico, Brazil, U.K., France, Germany, China, India, Japan, and Australia were interviewed. All worked for organizations with more than 1,000 employees, and they represented a balanced range of industries and sectors.