Beyond Boundaries: The Evolving Relationship Between Networking and Cybersecurity
The evolution of technology has created a convergence between Networking and Cybersecurity. While these two disciplines were traditionally seen as separate but equally critical, there’s now a growing crossover among job roles and teams as technology becomes increasingly interconnected.
INE recently surveyed nearly 1,800 IT/IS professionals from around the world to better understand how this shift to interdependence is impacting the functionality of their roles and the security of their organizations. In compiling the report, Beyond Boundaries: The Evolving Relationship Between Networking and Cybersecurity, we discovered a nearly unanimous consensus among IT/IS professionals regarding the synergy between networking and cybersecurity. 75% of respondents view the two fields as either “highly interconnected” or “completely integrated,” validating an important shift within the industry and making it clear that training must adapt to the changing landscape.
Key Drivers of Convergence
Several key factors are propelling the convergence of Cybersecurity and Networking:
Complex Cyber Threats: Innovation in hacking has led to more sophisticated cyber threats, driving the need for robust security measures. The "growing complexity and sophistication of cyber threats'' was emphasized by 24% of respondents as a significant driver. These survey results highlight an industry trend demanding greater collaboration between teams to counter this threat.
Stronger Network Security: Reliance on interconnected systems and the proliferation of IoT devices call for robust network security. The "need for stronger network security measures" was identified by 23% of respondents as a driving force behind convergence. A recent article published in Information Week underscores this dynamic, noting that the rapid distribution of workers, devices, and data requires a strong network infrastructure to securely hold it all together.
Technological Advancements: The emergence of cloud computing and virtualization technologies was identified by 19% of respondents as revolutionizing how networks operate. Industry experts broadly agree that we are still in the early days of convergence between cloud and cybersecurity which indicates organizations will need to align their security strategies with evolving networking paradigms. potential breaches.
Challenges and Opportunities
The growing overlap between networking and cybersecurity presents challenges that require thoughtful solutions. Addressing these challenges demands for a collaborative effort between networking and cybersecurity teams.
Skills Gap: 18% acknowledge the lack of cross-functional knowledge and skills as a significant hurdle.
Alignment Issues: 15% face difficulties aligning security policies with network operations, emphasizing the need for harmonization.
Evolving Threat Landscape: 16% note the rapid evolution of cybersecurity threats and techniques, requiring continuous adaptation.
Organizational Alignment: The issue of aligning security policies with network operations (15%) emphasizes the call for enhanced communication and collaboration across departments. This is pivotal to maintain the delicate equilibrium between security and functionality.
The Role of Training
Training plays a pivotal role in guiding organizations and IT/IS professionals as they navigate this convergence. Effective training programs embrace the growing crossover and reflect this dynamic in course requirements. Increasingly, technologists feel that training is evolving to reflect the changing dynamics of the industry. Training platforms catering to the crossover and allowing self-paced study are the strong preference among respondents.
Preparedness: 65% feel either "very well" or "moderately well" prepared to handle the intersection of Cybersecurity and Networking.
Training Intentions: 76% express intent to pursue training related to network cybersecurity within the next 12 months.
Preferred Formats: The survey reveals a preference for online self-paced training (54%), suggesting a demand for flexible, accessible learning options.
Dive Deeper with the Full Report:
Explore the full report to uncover the global acknowledgment of the increasing convergence between cybersecurity and networking, irrespective of industry, region, or job title. Common challenges, such as the evolving threat landscape and organizational alignment, are met with proactive intentions to pursue training and collaborative solutions. The IT industry’s future success lies in embracing this new dynamic—harnessing interconnected security and networking to drive innovation, resilience, and comprehensive digital transformation. Click here to access the full report and gain a better understanding of how you can prepare yourself and your team to stay one step ahead of the rapidly changing technology landscape.