IT security is a financial headache for business

2 Oct 2006

Securing a business against hacking and other forms of cyber crime is creating a financial headache for most European businesses, a new survey revealed.

A desire amongst IT managers for easier management of IT security is being undermined by complex security purchasing strategies, a pan-European survey by IT software vendor McAfee found.

The study of 600 businesses across six European countries found that while 77pc of those questioned would like to have a single view of their IT infrastructure, some 29pc currently use four or more management consoles.

A quarter of the businesses surveyed use five or more different security suppliers.

The research, conducted by Ipsos MORI Research, revealed that in addition to multiple vendors, many businesses are deploying a large number of security technologies across their organisation.

Some 30pc of the businesses had five or more security systems deployed while one in five (22pc) had seven or more different systems or technologies deployed.

The McAfee surveyed found that medium-sized companies are increasingly using multiple vendors, with 42pc with three or more security suppliers.

Only 23pc of the 600 businesses said they were completely satisfied with the level of security across their systems and network.

Cost was the biggest motivator for businesses buying security systems, with just over one in five companies admitting to choosing the cheapest option.

One of the main difficulties for businesses with multiple solutions from multiple vendors is in managing the deployment of patches.

Across Europe, 51pc of firms said that they apply patches once a day or more. Italian businesses are the biggest patchers with 67pc admitting to deploying patches at least once a day followed by 61pc of German businesses questioned.

The use of a single management console can significantly aid the deployment of patches, said Aminah Gianfrancesco, director of system security EMEA at McAfee.

“Managing a range of different solutions from a range of vendors is a headache. It is also inefficient and expensive. Businesses need to look at integrated security solutions under a single console which deliver protection against a full range of threats while at the same time being cost effective and easy to manage,” said Gianfrancesco.

By John Kennedy