Businesses continue to place a high priority on protecting their infrastructures from cyber-attack, according to analyst group Canalys, with the latest spending patterns showing corporate security budgets up by a third in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Spending on security in EMEA during the second quarter of 2004 totalled £273.7 million – an increase of almost £70 million over the same period a year ago.
Canalys found that organisations have favoured buying hardware to bolster their defences. "The hardware device part of the enterprise security market is the fastest growing area, and those vendors that became aware of this early are already reaping the benefits," says Canalys senior analyst Andy Buss.
The report states that spending on enterprise security hardware devices in EMEA rose 53% year-on-year, while software sales grew 17% over the same period.
Cisco reaped the greatest benefit of such trends, with purchases of its kit accounting for nearly a quarter of overall security spending in the quarter. The company also saw its market share grow at more than twice the rate of any other of the top five vendors.
The report also suggests that Microsoft's recent update to Windows XP, SP2, which focuses on improved client security, will prompt other security vendors to shift their product strategies towards greater in-built security if they are to remain competitive.
In one of the major categories – anti-virus software – Symantec continued to lead. Its 57% slice bolstered its overall share of security spending, giving it second place behind Cisco with 16% of the total market. Meanwhile, Trend Micro leapfrogged Check Point to take third place with an 8% share.
IT managers are so overwhelmed with individual security threats that they have no time to implement corporate security policies, research by analyst house Quocirca has also revealed.
The survey of 1,200 IT managers across Europe and the US, conducted on behalf of Computer Associates (CA), showed that eight out of ten believe that security is most effective when deployed as part of an overall corporate policy. However, in almost 60% of cases, IT managers are required to oversee point solutions, such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and intrusion detection systems, leaving little time to implement security at a corporate policy level. Over half said they would change the way they managed security given the opportunity.
According to the survey, 59% of IT managers have drawn up a comprehensive security policy, but just 18% have succeeded in introducing it.
"At a time when Trojans, worms and viruses are constantly evolving and blending to create new security threats, IT managers cannot afford to have their time taken up trying to manage point solutions," argues Simon Perry, vice president of security strategy at CA.