A new survey conducted by Basingstoke based porttracker Limited, a network management software developer, has revealed that over 50 percent of enterprise networks are at risk from intrusion because the IT and Network managers in the UK do not know who or what is connected to their networks.
In addition, the survey that questioned over a hundred IT and Network managers working in companies with more than thousand employees, showed that 95 percent had real difficulty keeping track of what devices were connected to their network. porttracker believes that this raises some serious issues about the way resources and budgets are used to manage networks.
The survey showed that whilst over 90 percent of those questioned required more budget to manage their network connections efficiently, a significant amount of money is being unnecessarily wasted. 26 percent said their largest area of expenditure is on general trouble shooting, 24 percent said it was security and a further 19 percent said it was on buying new hardware.
“If you do not keep track of who or what is using your network, you would not be able to know if and when unwanted users or devices are connected ”, said Julian Rigg, CEO, porttracker. “Having a complete overview of all the users and devices connected to your network will not only reduce your security risks but it will enable you to manage the switch port estate in a far more efficient and cost effective manner”.
Whilst troubleshooting was seen as the biggest expense, the survey showed that 58 percent of IT and Network managers said that over a quarter of their time each week is spent on adding, removing, tracking and managing their port estate. In addition, the survey also revealed that 57 percent of IT and Network managers take more than 30 minutes to trace and activate or de-activate a port in their network.
Rigg continued, “Far too much time is being spent crawling through ceiling panels and under floor boards tugging on wires trying to identify the right port connections. We believe this has led to a trend in IT and Network Managers just buying new switches and hardware to free up port space to save themselves the time and effort of tracing each cable. If they had a clear overview of which switch was connected to which port, they could dramatically reduce their costs both in terms of hardware spend and man hours.”
This belief is backed up by the survey that states that over 40 percent of IT and Network Managers admit that they buy new switch and port hardware on a quarterly basis as a means of increasing the size of their port estate. With each port costing an average of £150 per year to run and many companies having many thousands of ports, this can become very expensive for a business.
“There is increasing pressure being put on IT Directors to keep the costs of running the technology to a minimum and to deliver a measurable ROI in a timely fashion. This is exactly what porttracker does. By using porttracker, a company can save money on buying new switches and ports because they will be able to identify and re-use the redundant ones. In addition, we estimate that a company of over 2500 ports needs to identify just over 1 percent of its redundant ports to cover the cost of its investment into porttracker”, continued Rigg.