Almost half (45.6 percent) of network devices within companies are obsolete or are no longer supported, according to NTT research. That is a significant increase compared to 2017 when only 12 percent of network devices were obsolete.

Businesses are increasingly moving applications to multicloud environments, resulting in more investment in the cloud and less investment in on-premise infrastructure. As a result, less money is spent on supporting network and security infrastructure. This results in outdated network devices and an increase in security threats.

Devices that are no longer supported contain nearly twice as many vulnerabilities per device (42.2 percent) as outdated devices (25.8 percent) and devices that are fully updated and supported (19.4 percent). This risk increases when companies do not patch or update these devices with the latest version of the operating system. Patching devices is a relatively simple talk and is often free of charge in the case of a maintenance contract or additional warranty, but often companies don’t patch devices regardless.

Most affected sectors

The technology sector is hit hardest with 59.6 percent of network equipment being obsolete, compared to 19.9 percent two years earlier. The health sector has also been in decline. The number of outdated network equipment has risen from 15.7 percent to 52.5 percent in the past year, which has resulted in the sector being under constant attack by cybercriminals. It is unlikely that this equipment will be replaced soon as the healthcare sector is currently severely affected by the coronavirus.