More than three-quarters of network and security operators suffered a network or application outage due to an out-of-process network change.

According to a survey of 179 information security and network operations professionals by AlgoSec, 76.6 per cent of respondents had suffered a network or application outage due to an out-of-process change.

Sixty per cent of people surveyed cited poor processes and lack of visibility into security policies as the greatest challenge of managing network security devices, while 80 per cent suffered an outage, security breach or decreased network performance due to an application-related rule change.

Nimmy Reichenberg, vice president of marketing and business development at AlgoSec, said: “Increasing complexity in network security not only impacts an organisation's ability to protect itself from cyber threats, but also hampers business agility.

“Based on the survey results, it's clear that organisations are faced with increasing insider threats as well as rising risk of network and application outages, but process improvement and better security policy enforcement that leverages automation can provide significant dividends.”

The survey also found that the number of respondents who had adopted next-generation firewalls has risen to 57 per cent, up from 41.2 per cent surveyed in 2012. Of those who have adopted next-generation firewalls, 56.5 per cent reported that their objective is to improve protection from attacks, while the same figure had increased work to manage the firewall process.