IT Management Slideshow: Cat Videos, Facebook Clog Enterprise Networks
By Fahmida Y. Rashid | Posted 07-10-2012
As more employees than ever watch videos, share files and spend time on Web applications at work, an increasing amount of corporate bandwidth is being used for personal reasons, according to a recent report examining enterprise network traffic. Palo Alto Networks' Application Usage and Risk Report analyzed various applications detected on enterprise networks and calculated how much bandwidth they consumed. The company collected traffic data from more than 2,036 organizations worldwide that had deployed its next-generation firewall between November 2011 and May 2012, and found that there were nearly 250 applications in the video and file-sharing categories, out of the 1282 applications detected across organizations. Employees are increasingly comfortable with viewing video online while at work, and new devices with high-definition screens encourage users to watch more video, Palo Alto Networks said in its report. Nearly one third of every dollar spent on bandwidth is supporting either streaming media or file-sharing, when viewed in terms of budget dollars, according to Matt Keil, senior research analyst at Palo Alto Networks. "The key to this 'new reality' is not to ignore or even vilify the existence of these applications, but to manage their usage with policies that give today's modern workforce the flexibility they desire without impeding on the business," Palo Alto Networks said. Companies can implement network security controls that allow employees to use whatever applications they need while ensuring that quality-of-service for business-critical applications are not compromised. Here CIO Insight takes a look at some of the report's key findings.
Main Application Categories
Work-related applications, such as those for infrastructure, email, and databases, consumed 13 percent of total bandwidth. The remaining five categories, storage, streaming video, encrypted Web sessions, file-sharing, and Internet utilities accounted for 76 percent of total bandwidth.