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Survey reveals growth in use of strategic security partners.

Nemertes Research : 26 July, 2007  (Technical Article)
Report on security technology trends suggests that more companies are outsourcing security to strategic partners rather than coping in house.
Having a strategic security vendor is a growing trend for IT executives, with 42.6% indicating they have one according to Nemertes' latest benchmark, "Security and Information Protection: Technology Trends and Vendor Ratings."

The benchmark, based on four months of in-depth interviews with enterprise executives, finds that the remaining 57.4% of participants, who do not have a strategic security vendor, did not want one. "More than 27% indicated they don't want a strategic security vendor, preferring to take a best-of-breed approach in their product selection," said Andreas Antonopoulos, senior vice president, Nemertes Research. Another 16.7% of responses indicated they "don't need one," meaning that "security has not been a strategic issue to date," or that "security is built into our systems, not separate from our existing infrastructure." And 16.7% fall into the "we can't have one" camp, either because of procurement restrictions, or because they outsource security services.

Despite not having a strategic security vendor, 90% of benchmark participants say they will be investing more in security vendors in the next 12 to 18 months.

IT executives who did have a top security vendor, most frequently cited Cisco. While participants say they don't usually buy Cisco gear because of the security features, their presence in the majority of enterprise networks, along with the criticality of security in the network underscores Cisco's importance as the top security vendor, jumping ahead of the of pure-play security companies.

The study also asked executives to rate security vendors in the areas of customer service and support, strength of technology and value. Juniper Networks took the lead, scoring highest in all three areas.

The research benchmark includes recommendations and best practices for security technology and tool usage. It also provides independent end-user ratings for vendors of security products and services.
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