Riverbed Study Finds Feds Adopted Network Visibility Solutions as They Grappled with Explosion of New Endpoints and Cloud-based Apps Federal IT Leaders Consider Network Visibility Critical in Increasingly Complex Environments

  • 87% of survey respondents recognize that network visibility is a strong or moderate enabler of cloud infrastructure.
  • Most federal employees are currently teleworking, and 81% of survey respondents noted that the increasing use of telework accelerated their agency’s use and deployment of network visibility solutions.
  • 93% of respondents believe that greater network visibility facilitates greater network security.


SAN FRANCISCO – October 28, 2020 – Federal IT leaders across the country voiced the importance of network visibility in managing and securing their agencies’ increasingly complex and hybrid networks, according to Riverbed’s latest study, “Federal Network Visibility in a Modernized World.” Of 200 participating federal government IT decision makers and influencers, 90% consider their networks to be moderately-to-highly complex, and 32% say that increasing network complexity is the greatest challenge an IT professional without visibility faces in their agency when managing the network.

View Infographic: Federal Network Visibility in a Modernized World

Driving this network complexity are Cloud First and Cloud Smart initiatives that make it an imperative for federal IT to modernize its infrastructure with cloud transformation and “as-a-service” adoption. More than 25% of respondents are still in the planning stages of their priority modernization projects, though 87% of survey respondents recognize that network visibility is a strong or moderate enabler of cloud infrastructure. Network visibility can help expedite the evaluation process to determine what goes onto an agency’s cloud and what data and apps stay on-prem; it also allows clearer, ongoing management across the networks to enable smooth transitions to cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid infrastructures.

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The Coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated modernization and cloud adoption to support the massive shift of the federal workforce to telework – a recent Market Connections study indicates that 90% of federal employees are currently teleworking and that 86% expect to continue to do so at least part-time after the pandemic ends. The rapid adoption of cloud-based services and solutions and an explosion of new endpoints accessing agency networks during the pandemic generated even greater need for visibility into the who, what, when and where of traffic. In fact, 81% of survey respondents noted that the increasing use of telework accelerated their agency’s use and deployment of network visibility solutions, with 25% responding “greatly.”

“The accelerated move to cloud was necessary because the majority of federal staff were no longer on-prem, creating significant potential for disruption to citizen services and mission delivery,” said Marlin McFate, public sector CTO at Riverbed Technology. “This basically took IT teams from being able to see, to being blind. All of their users were now outside of their protected environments, and they no longer had control over the internet connections, the networks employees were logging on from or who or what else has access to those networks. To be able to securely maintain networks and manage end-user experience, you have to have greater visibility.”

Read blog post: Network Visibility Proves Critical as Feds Grapple with Explosion of New Endpoints and Cloud-based Apps

Visibility Drives Security

Lack of visibility into agency networks and the proliferation of apps and endpoints designed to improve productivity and collaboration expands the potential attack surface for cyberthreats. Ninety-three percent of respondents believe that greater network visibility facilitates greater network security and 96% believe network visibility is moderately or highly valuable in assuring secure infrastructure. Further, respondents ranked cybersecurity as their agency’s number one priority that can be improved through better network visibility, and automated threat detection was identified as the most important feature of a network visibility solution (24%), followed by advanced reporting features (14%), and automated alerting (13%).

“Industry intelligence indicates that it takes many organizations more than 200 days to detect a breach. We’ve had the experience of finding significant unknowns on nearly every customer network we’ve put our NetProfiler solution on,” said McFate. “Network visibility is the foundation of cybersecurity and federal agencies have to know what’s on their network so they can rapidly detect and remediate malicious actors. And while automation enablement calls for an upfront time investment, it can significantly improve response time not only for cyber threat detection but also network issues that can hit employee productivity.”

A Holistic View Enables Modernization

The federal government’s modernization efforts accelerated rapidly in 2020, advancing the adoption of cloud and as-a-service models to create hybrid environments they demand, but make it more challenging to achieve, greater network visibility. Riverbed Technology provides agencies a holistic view across all networks, infrastructure, applications and end-user experience to equip IT with the visibility and analytics needed to centrally manage hybrid environments, proactively identify and fix performance issues, and enhance cybersecurity posture. Federal agencies can now advance their modernization initiatives while improving employee productivity, saving costs, and ensuring security with network visibility every step of the way.

Riverbed’s market-leading Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) solutions gather all packets, all flows, all device metrics – all the time, across the hybrid enterprise to enable IT teams to proactively identify performance anomalies and troubleshoot network performance and security issues, delivering:

  • 100% visibility of every packet, every flow and all networked devices
  • 53% reduction in network and app blind spots
  •  and a 67% reduction of lost user productivity

Riverbed offers the most complete network visibility and performance solutions for Work From Anywhere environments, which includes NPM solutions, as well as application acceleration offerings Client Accelerator and SaaS Accelerator. With Riverbed’s solutions, Federal Agency IT teams can maximize network and application performance through massive data reduction and latency mitigation on home networks enabling remote workforces to stay productive anywhere, anytime with fast, consistent, and available applications that they need to get work done.

“Federal Network Visibility in a Modernized World” is the result of a custom blind online survey completed in August and September 2020 by Market Connections with 200 federal government IT decision makers and influencers from across the United States. The study was designed to assess the state and impact of network visibility on performance, productivity and security in increasingly complex network environments.

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About Riverbed

Riverbed enables organizations to maximize performance and visibility for networks and applications, so they can overcome complexity and fully capitalize on their digital and cloud investments. The Riverbed Network and Application Performance Platform enables organizations to visualize, optimize, remediate and accelerate the performance of any network for any application. The platform addresses performance and visibility holistically with best-in-class WAN optimization, network performance management (NPM), application acceleration (including Office 365, SaaS, client and cloud acceleration), and enterprise-grade SD-WAN. Riverbed’s 30,000+ customers include 99% of the Fortune 100. Learn more at riverbed.com.

Riverbed and any Riverbed product or service name or logo used herein are trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.

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