Skip to content

Tanium Study: Strained Relationships Between Security and IT Ops Teams Leave Businesses at Risk

  • Two thirds (67 percent) of businesses say that driving collaboration between security and IT ops teams is a major challenge
  • Security and IT ops teams with strained relationships more often struggle with basic IT hygiene, taking nearly two weeks longer to patch IT vulnerabilities than teams with healthy relationships
  • There is a misplaced sense of confidence amongst IT decision-makers: 80 percent are certain they can act on the results of vulnerability scans, yet fewer than half (49 percent) feel confident they have full visibility into all the hardware/software assets on their environment
  • 71 percent of businesses struggle to gain end-to-end visibility of endpoints including server, laptop, desktop, VM, container, etc.

Nashville, Tenn., November 19, 2019 – New research released today by Tanium and conducted by Forrester Consulting[1] has found strained relationships between security and IT ops teams leave businesses vulnerable to disruption, even with increased spending on IT security and management tools.

According to the study of more than 400 IT leaders at large enterprises, 67 percent of businesses say that driving collaboration between security and IT ops teams is a major challenge, which not only hampers team relationships, but also leaves organizations open to vulnerabilities. Over forty percent of businesses with strained relationships consider maintaining basic IT hygiene more of a challenge than those with good partnerships (32 percent). In fact, it takes teams with strained relationships nearly two weeks longer to patch IT vulnerabilities than teams with healthy relationships (37 business days versus 27.8 business days).

The study also found that increased investment in IT solutions has not translated to improved visibility of computing devices and has created false confidence among security and IT ops teams in the veracity of their endpoint management data.

Increased investment without improved visibility

In recent years, there has been a considerable investment in security and IT operations tools, as well as an increased focus at the board level on cybersecurity. According to the study, 81 percent of respondents feel very confident that their senior leadership/board has more focus on IT security, IT operations and compliance than two years ago.

Enterprises who reported budget increases said they have seen considerable additional investment in IT security (18.3 percent) and operations (10.9 percent) over the last two years, with teams procuring an average of five new tools over this same time period.

Misplaced confidence leaves firms vulnerable

Despite the increased investment in IT security and operational tools, businesses have a false sense of security regarding how well they can protect their IT environment from threats and disruption. Eighty percent of respondents claimed that they can take action instantly on the results of their vulnerability scans and 89 percent stated that they could report a breach within 72 hours. However, only half (51 percent) believe they have full visibility into the vulnerabilities and risks and fewer than half (49 percent) believe they have visibility of all hardware and software assets in their environment.

The study also showed that 71 percent of respondents struggle to gain end-to-end visibility of endpoints and their health, which could lead to consequences such as poor IT hygiene, limited agility to secure the business, vulnerability to cyber threats and collaboration between teams.

Chris Hallenbeck, Americas Chief Information Security Officer at Tanium said, “According to our research, most teams are confident in their ability to take timely action on the results of their vulnerability scans. However, further investigation shows teams are admittedly suffering from visibility gaps of all hardware and software assets in their environment, which undermine these efforts to take action. With around 50 percent of IT leaders showing confidence in asset and vulnerability visibility, you’re essentially leaving your security to a coin flip.”

Unified endpoint solutions allows firms to operate at scale

A unified endpoint management and security solution – a common toolset for both Security and IT Ops – can help address these challenges. In the study, IT decision makers stated that a unified solution would allow enterprises to operate at scale (59 percent), decrease vulnerabilities (54 percent), and improve communication between security and operations teams (52 percent).

IT decision makers also say that a unified endpoint solution would help them see faster response times (53 percent) and have more efficient security investigations (51 percent), while improving visibility through improved data integration (49 percent) and accurate real-time data (45 percent).

According to the Forrester study: “IT leaders today face pressure from all sides … To cope with this pressure, many have invested in a number of point solutions. However, these solutions often operate in silos, straining organizational alignment and inhibiting the visibility and control needed to protect the environment … Using a unified endpoint security solution that centralizes device data management enables companies to accelerate operations, enhance security, and drive collaboration between Security and IT Ops teams.”


About Tanium

Tanium offers a unified endpoint management and security platform that is built for the world’s most demanding IT environments. Many of the world’s largest and most sophisticated organizations, including more than half of the Fortune 100, top retailers and financial institutions, and four branches of the US Armed Forces rely on Tanium to make confident decisions, operate efficiently and effectively, and remain resilient against disruption. Tanium ranks 7th on the Forbes list of “Top 100 Private Companies in Cloud Computing” for 2019 and 10th on FORTUNE’s list of the “100 Best Medium Workplaces.” Visit us at and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Tanium commissioned independent market research specialist Forrester to undertake the research upon which this report is based. A total of 415 IT decision makers with responsibility for – or with insights into – endpoint security were surveyed in September 2019 across the US, UK and Australia. The respondents were from organizations with at least 5000 employees, international offices and could be from any sector.


Tanium’s statements regarding its plans, directions and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at Tanium’s sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. The development, release and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.

Media Contacts

Brooke Hamilton
[email protected]
+44 7909 525099

Brands2Life, for Tanium
[email protected]
+1 (415) 610 7500

[1]Strained Relationships Between Security And IT Ops Teams Leave Businesses At Risk, a November 2019 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tanium