New Ops for Managing Risk Driven by Internal & External Security Threats

SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2021: Building a Secure Future examines how technology professionals perceive the evolving state of risk in today’s business environment following internal impact of COVID-19 IT policies and exposure to external breaches
SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2021: Building a Secure Future examines how technology professionals perceive the evolving state of risk in today’s business environment following internal impact of COVID-19 IT policies and exposure to external breaches.

SolarWinds, a leading provider of simple, powerful, and secure IT management software, and Multiple 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winner, with Multiple-Products Nominated to compete in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, has  released its eighth annual IT Trends Report.

This lastest report, SolarWinds® IT Trends Report 2021: Building a Secure Future, released eight months after the broad and highly sophisticated SUNBURST cyberattack, is part of the SolarWind’s ongoing commitment to leading industry collaboration and transparency to prevent future cyberattacks and help technology professionals navigate the evolving threat landscape.

The report examines how technology professionals perceive their organizations’ risk management and mitigation readiness, following a year of rapid transformation fueled by the global pandemic.

The study analyzes the state of risk within the IT industry today and provides guidance on workplace strategy, tool sets, preparedness, and leadership for companies as they work to construct an organization built to withstand risk.

“Technology professionals today are under even greater pressure to ensure optimized, secure performance for remote workforces while facing limited time and resources for personnel training,” explains Sudhakar Ramakrishna, President and CEO, SolarWinds.

“When it comes to risk management and mitigation, prioritizing intentional investments in technology solutions that meet business needs is critical.”

Sudhakar Ramakrishna, President and CEO, SolarWinds
Sudhakar Ramakrishna, President and CEO, SolarWinds

“More than ever before, tech pros must partner closely with business leaders to ensure they have the resources and headcount necessary to proactively address security risks.”

“And more importantly, tech pros should constantly assess their risk management, mitigation, and protocols to avoid falling into complacency and being ‘blind’ to risk.”

Over the last year, tech pros were tasked with enabling a distributed global workforce and managing the adoption of public cloud services, as organizations quickly pivoted to implement a range of technologies to keep their businesses up and running during the pandemic.

Against this backdrop, nearly every industry was confronted with the acceleration of high-level cybersecurity breaches, which exposed the potential risk of incomplete security policies and procedures across the industry.

This unprecedented disruption has served as a critical catalyst for a broader exploration of organizations’ exposure to enterprise IT risk of all kinds, including those risk introduced by the implications of remote and/or distributed work, and the degree to which organizations are prepared to manage, mitigate, and prevent risk in the future.

Courtesy of SolarWinds

SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2021 findings uncover a reality in which exposure to enterprise IT risk is common across organizations – but perceptions of apathy and complacency surrounding risk preparedness are high as businesses exit a year of pandemic-driven “crisis mode.”

Technology pros have outlined key areas of technology investment and ‘upskilling’ to prioritize cloud computing, network infrastructure solutions, and security/compliance—demonstrating an inherent awareness that falling behind is potentially the greatest risk of all.

The annual study reveals immense opportunity ahead for technology pros and IT leadership to align and collaborate on priorities and policies, to best position not only individual organizations – but the industry at large to succeed with a future built for risk preparedness.

2021 Key Findings

SolarWinds® IT Trends Report 2021: Building a Secure Future explores how tech pros perceive the state of risk in today’s business environment, and how the global pandemic impacted technology investments across IT teams.

Key findings show:

Security threats associated with external breaches and the internal impact of COVID-19 IT policies emerged as the leading macro trends influencing enterprise IT risk today.

Courtesy of SolarWinds
  • 46% of overall tech pros surveyed state their organizations have had medium exposure to enterprise IT risk over the past 12 months.

    • The level of perceived risk exposure differs by the size of the organization. A sense of high or extremely high-risk exposure is perceived more acutely by tech pros at enterprise organizations (19%) as compared to their small business (11%) and mid-size (7%) counterparts.

  • Security breaches are perceived to be the biggest external factor influencing an organization’s exposure to risk, with 76% of tech pros surveyed citing external security threats like cyberattacks as the top macro trend influencing their organization’s risk exposure.

  • However, COVID-19 also had a critical impact on organizations’ risk exposure, with tech pros flagging these top associated risk-inducing factors (by weighted rank):

    • Remote work policies (70%)

    • Growth of data as a result of work-from-home (WFH) needs (51%)

    • Distributed workforce/employee relocation (50%)

  • Likewise, 58% of tech pros surveyed said the accelerated shift to remote working was the number-one aspect within current IT environments considered to increase an organization’s risk exposure, followed closely by unknown human factors such as employee security burnout (due to constant MFA exposure, changing passwords, and other security best practices) (56%).

    • 75% of respondents say security and compliance ranked in the top three technologies most critical to managing/mitigating risk within their organizations, followed by network infrastructure (44%) and ITSM and/or ITAM solutions (28%).

  • Although external security threats are the primary risk factor, internal vulnerabilities as a result of remote/distributed environments and employee cybersecurity hygiene (or lack thereof) cannot be overlooked in today’s work landscape.

Tech pros are confident in their risk management and mitigation preparedness strategies although enterprise IT risk exists within their organizations.

Courtesy of SolarWinds
  • 73% of tech pros surveyed “agree” or “strongly agree” their IT organization is prepared to manage, mitigate, and resolve risk factor-related issues due to the policies and/or procedures they already have in place.

    • This finding is echoed by organizations’ careful approach to technology adoption and implementations in response to shifting demands of COVID-19 distributed work environments: despite the accelerated timeline, nearly 40% of respondents said standard risk management protocols were followed.

  • That said, as detailed in a recent McKinsey report, tech pros and their IT organizations will need to be careful to avoid complacency in today’s ever-evolving risk landscape and be sure to refresh and strengthen their approach to risk management for the future.

Tech pros are prioritizing investments in security and compliance, network infrastructure, and cloud computing as core technologies that can help manage risk, but implementation is hampered by dwindling resources and access to personnel training.

  • More than 80% of tech pros surveyed “agreed” or “strongly agreed” technology is the best way for organizations to manage, mitigate, and resolve issues related to risk.

    • IT teams prioritized investment in security and compliance (54%) and network infrastructure (52%), followed by cloud computing (35%) to accommodate the unprecedented demands of COVID-19 and the shift to remote work.

  • However, despite the understanding that technology can play a critical role in enterprise IT risk management, barriers to its adoption and implementation exist. The top three reported challenges when it comes to using technology to mitigate and/or manage risk within organizations are:

    • Lack of budget/resources (57%)

    • Lack of training for personnel (48%)

    • Decreased staff size (36%)

  • Interestingly, challenges for enterprise organizations differ with 44% of enterprise respondents citing unclear or shifting priorities as their biggest barrier to using technology to mitigate/manage risk.

  • Implementation is further hampered by 45% of tech pros admitting that while some of their monitoring/management tools are integrated to enhance visibility across their IT environment(s)—whether on-premises, cloud-based or hybrid—other tools are still siloed.

  • Tech pros are overcoming these barriers by:

    • Prioritizing the introduction of new technologies to the environment (such as multi-factor authentication and/or additional/new monitoring) (54%)

    • Developing policies and processes (50%)

Tech pros are capitalizing on an opportunity to foster greater alignment and collaboration with senior leaders to best position their organizations to manage and mitigate risks in the future.

Courtesy of SolarWinds
  • 61% of respondents are confident or extremely confident their IT organization will continue to invest in risk management/ mitigation technologies over the next three years.

  • 62% perceive their organization’s senior leaders or decision-makers to have a heightened awareness of risk exposure, believing it’s not “if” but “when” they will be impacted by a risk factor. But while 36% believe their organization is prepared to mitigate and manage risk, 26% said their senior leaders have difficulty convincing other leaders of this reality, ultimately limiting resources to address risk.

    • This reinforces how nearly half (48%) of tech pros surveyed state their IT organizations are improving alignment between IT business goals and corporate leadership in response to other tech adoption barriers like a lack of skilled IT staff triggered by cost- cutting, consolidation, or outdated skillsets, and a lack of available IT management tools.

To explore and interact with the 2021 findings, please visit the SolarWinds® IT Trends Report 2021: Building a Secure Future, a dynamic web experience presenting the study’s findings by region and additional insights into the data, as well as charts, graphs, and socially shareable elements.

This year’s study features an interactive component where visitors to the web experience can see how they compare to the results.

The findings of this year’s North American report are based on a survey fielded in March/April 2021, which yielded responses from 228 technology practitioners, managers, directors, and senior executives from public- and private-sector small, mid-size, and enterprise organizations across the United States and Canada.

All regions studied in 2021, as reported on the SolarWinds IT Trends Index, were North America, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, with 967 respondents across all geographies combined.

SolarWinds Outlines Secure by Design Principles for a More Secure Future

To address the industry-wide ramifications of the SUNBURST cyberattack and help strengthen its own security posture going forward, SolarWinds has introduced an initiative to become Secure by Design.

Under this approach, SolarWinds is focused on further securing its internal environment, enhancing its product development environment, and ensuring the security and integrity of the products it delivers as it seeks to evolve into an industry-leading secure software development company.

(CDW Technology Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer Ruben Chacon, SolarWinds® CISO and VP, Security Tim Brown, and SolarWinds Head Geek Thomas LaRock talk about what the CISO needs to know to face today’s escalating cybersecurity threats – and what it’s like to be in the “hot seat” when challenges inevitably arise. Courtesy of SolarWinds and YouTube. Posted on Jun 23, 2021.)

The learnings resulting from the SUNBURST investigation have also presented an opportunity for SolarWinds to lead an industry-wide effort around transparency and collaboration, and for SolarWinds to develop a new model for secure software environments, development processes, and products.

solarwinds logoIn partnership with former CISA leader Chris Krebs and former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos (co-founders of the Krebs Stamos Group), SolarWinds is developing best practices to enhance the SolarWinds security posture and policies, while also serving as a guide for other organizations as they work to prevent future attacks.

Customers, partners, and tech professionals can follow along with the SolarWinds Secure by Design blog content and join live webcasts hosted by members of the SolarWinds executive team, its Head Geeks, customers, partners, and industry cybersecurity experts to learn more about Secure by Design best practices and learnings from the SUNBURST attack.

SolarWinds Returns to Compete in Sixth Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program

American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is today in its Sixth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administer, David Pekoske
David Pekoske, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administer

American Security Today is pleased to announce TSA Administrator  David Pekoske, will join the organization as a featured speaker at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon, on November 18, 2021 at ISC East in New York City.

“On the heels of an unprecedented global pandemic, continued unrest in our cities and potentially catastrophic cyberattacks on our nations critical infrastructure, the focus of the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon will be on the latest, state-of-the-art innovations that are driving investments in new public security and safety technologies and systems,” said AST Editorial and Managing Director Tammy Waitt.

“As a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation and aviation, surface transportation and maritime security, David Pekoske’s message highlighting his top priorities and challenges for the TSA based on his years of wide-ranging experience will be critical to our attendees internalizing the critical nature of these escalating challenges, and realizing innovative new approaches to meet them.”

The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions  and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI SystemsAttivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at

Comprehensive List of Categories Include:

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!
COVID Innovations And Many Others!


Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at:

Register for the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Luncheon Today

At ISC East 2021 you with the opportunity to interact with a broad array of security industry professionals.

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William (Bill) Bratton, former police commissioner of the NYPD twice, the BPD, and former chief of the LAPD, on the history of policing in America and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

ISC East works closely with other businesses in the security and public safety space to help bring together the Northeast’s largest security trade show each year.

In collaboration with premier sponsor SIA (Security Industry Association) and in partnership with ASIS NYC, ISC East is proud to work with and be supported by various associations, trade publications, charities, and more.

Therefore, the ISC audience of security dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, corporate, government and law enforcement/first responder practitioners will be joined by the ASIS NYC audience of major corporate managerial-through-director-level national and global security executives.

The combination of one-on-one conversations with the industry’s top innovators,  integrators and security executives, special events, high-quality education and training, and strong support from industry associations, will allow attendees to learn and evaluate solutions from leading security exhibitors and brands. 

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program surpassed expectations with a record number of nominations received from industry leaders and government agencies, and drew over 200 attendees to the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Banquet – an exclusive gourmet luncheon and networking opportunity which filled to capacity, before having to turn away late registrants.

With the integration of the Natural Disaster and Emergency Management (NDEM) Expo, the show is moving even further into our reader’s wheelhouse!

With the integration of the Natural Disaster and Emergency Management (NDEM) Expo, the show is moving even further into our reader's wheelhouse! Your ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon registration includes complimentary attendee access to both ISC East - and NDEM!
ISC East the leading event for the Northeast’s security and public safety community, and home of the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon, is colocating with the inaugural Natural Disaster and Emergency Management (NDEM) Expo on November 17th & 18th at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City.

Your ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon registration includes complimentary attendee access to both ISC East – and NDEM!

Thank take advantage of this exclusive luncheon opportunity to take a break from the show – Invite your team, guests, clients and show visitors to a lovely and affordable plated meal event in the heart of New York City, for  a fabulous networking opportunity!

Go to to secure your seat or reserve a table.

***Limited space available so Register Today. There will be no on-site registrations.

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.


AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, Check Out the New 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2020 ‘A Year in Review’.

The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2020 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

  • For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.

For more information on All Things American Security Today, and the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at

AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:

  • Provides named sources
  • Reported by more than one notable outlet
  • Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos

Subscribe to the AST Daily News Alert Here.

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SolarWinds SEM Nominated in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program