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IDC survey results on endpoint security

Avocent : 18 June, 2009  (Technical Article)
Rise in levels of mobile workers using laptops not adequately catered for with security tools according to IDC survey
LANDesk - an Avocent company - announces responses to the results of a new survey into IT Endpoint Security conducted by IDC across the three major economies in Europe: UK, France and Germany. The survey reveals serious concerns about organisations' response to an increased level of threat to endpoint security and the need to manage increasing IT complexity, as well as presenting budget trends for IT spending.

The survey was independently conducted by IDC with the head of IT departments in organisations across the three countries. Each respondent works in an organisation with a minimum of 2,000 employees, with 23% working in organisations employing over 5,000 staff, and 41% in organisations with over 10,000 employees.

In the executive summary, IDC warns that the results give rise to serious concerns about the pace at which organisations are responding (or are able to respond) to the growing security threat to the endpoints of their IT infrastructure. The influence of the Web as 'the new threat vector of choice among hackers and cyber criminals' and a tipping point in 2009 at which shipments of portable PCs will exceed those of desktop PCs, mean that the risk is focusing on endpoint security. This is reinforced by IDC predictions that the number of mobile workers, worldwide, will increase from the 2006 level of 750 million, to 1 billion by 2012.

Robert Redgate, Consulting Manager at IDC EMEA Consulting suggests that the survey results call for greater awareness of HIPS technology; "Around 46% of respondents state that they were either not aware, or not sure, of the benefits of HIPS, despite IDC research demonstrating the importance of this technology to enhance security. This lack of knowledge is reinforced as 23% categorically state that they do not believe that HIPS is 'a necessity when providing security at individual workstation level".

IDC suggests that increased mobility and growing security threats make centralised management of endpoint security the 'obvious response to operational IT complexity and uncertainty'. Despite this, only 19% of respondents state that their security technology is 'completely effective' in allowing them to change and update security policies on endpoints that are not connected to the corporate network or over VPN. IDC warns ''the increased complexity being introduced by corporate mobility is opening up a massive hole in the IT defences". Redgate concludes, "The overall population of companies surveyed is not well positioned to respond to the compound threat of complexity and external attack in the IT endpoint."

The concerns raised by the IDC report can be addressed by existing LANDesk security solutions. For example the LANDesk Security Suite allows IT professionals to improve visibility, enforce compliance and keep endpoints secure, whilst providing a single console to simplify management. LANDesk Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) thwarts malicious attacks and Rootkits using application control that prevents applications from executing in malicious ways, helping to prevent zero-day threats even before a fix is available.

The survey results suggest that budget constraints are not responsible for the current lack of awareness of endpoint security technology, and the low adoption of centralised management consoles: 68% of respondents did not have a budget cut this year, whilst 71% of respondents expect their budget to either stay the same or increase compared to the previous year. The budget for security is even more robust, with 84% increasing spending on security this year and a similar number expecting an increase in security budgets in the next two years.

"The optimistic budget trends, in the face of the global downturn, underline the importance that organisations place on IT security. Despite this, organisations are failing to implement the tools that will allow them to mitigate security risk and manage the complexity of an increasingly mobile workforce," said Andy Baldin, VP, EMEA at LANDesk Software. "LANDesk solutions are designed to help IT Managers implement better endpoint management, which also enables many other business benefits including higher user productivity, lower IT costs from reduced client overhead, fewer help desk calls and lower desktop management costs by stabilising the system image, whilst improving corporate governance and regulatory compliance."

The IDC executive brief "Endpoint Security: A Timely Warning for Today's Economic Climate" is available free of charge from the LANDesk website.

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