When it comes to how organisations approach security innovation in an increasingly digital world, a new study has found that they value security product innovation, especially at the hardware level, when purchasing technologies and services.

Businesses are expected to spend $172-billion in 2022 on increasing their cybersecurity commitments and enhancing measures to protect themselves.

Organisations recognize hardware-assisted security capabilities are critical to a robust security strategy, with many searching out transparent technology providers to supply innovative security solutions.

And adoption is growing: while the Intel-sponsored study found only 36% of respondents say their organization’s current cybersecurity protocols use hardware-assisted security solutions, 47% say these solutions will be adopted in the next six months (24%) or 12 months (23%).

“The security threat landscape continues to evolve, becoming more sophisticated and challenging for organisations to defend against,” says Suzy Greenberg, vice-president, Intel Product Assurance and Security. “Today more than ever, companies are demanding assurance capabilities and hardware-enhanced security solutions that help protect the entire compute stack. Intel is in a unique position to deliver these innovations on behalf of our customers.”

Ponemon Institute independently conducted the survey of 1 406 individuals in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America who influence their organisation’s information technology (IT) decision-making regarding investment in security technologies.

Key findings from the study include:

* 64% of respondents say their organisations are more likely to purchase technologies and services from technology providers that are leading edge with respect to innovation.

* The top areas of focus for security innovation within organizations today are security automation (41% of respondents), security at the silicon level (40% of respondents), cloud migration (40% of respondents), and education and training (38% of respondents).

* 53% percent of respondents say their organisations refreshed their security strategy because of the pandemic.

* Of the 36% of organisations using hardware-assisted security solutions, 85% say hardware- and/or firmware-based security is a high or very high priority in their organisation. And 64% also say it is important for a vendor to offer both hardware- and software-assisted security capabilities.

Key findings indicate that organisations are looking to integrate hardware-based security solutions into their Zero Trust strategies.

Of the 36% of organisations using hardware-assisted security solutions, 32% of respondents have implemented a Zero Trust infrastructure strategy, and 75% of respondents expressed increased interest in Zero Trust models as the pandemic continues and the remote workforce grows.

As organisations incorporate new security technologies, hardware-assisted security complements existing protocols and bolsters overall security hygiene.

Additionally, the rapid sophistication of the threat landscape requires organisations to be one step ahead of security updates, although challenges remain when it comes to managing vulnerabilities and patching updates.

The study reveals that fewer than half of organisations have visibility into newly disclosed vulnerabilities and patches/updates (48% of respondents) and mainly prioritise security updates for the latest product generation (42% of respondents), when there are still many legacy devices in use around the world.

“Without visibility and transparency, there is no trust,” says Tom Garrison, vice-president and GM of Client Security Strategy and Initiatives at Intel.