Understanding the problem will lead to better security spending: Websense

Security vendor recommends businesses identify weaknesses in their IT infrastructure instead of taking a blanket security approach

No amount of money will eliminate risk of exposure unless a business identifies the infrastructure that requires attention says Websense A/NZ country manager, Gerry Tucker.

Tucker backs this up with analyses from Gartner, Forrester and IDC that have found that 80 per cent of the overall IT security spend is concentrated on just 30 per cent of the problem.

“Firewalls, intrusion protection systems and endpoint security swallow up the lion’s share of the cash,” he said.

While Tucker admits it is always good to secure a requested budget to address the perceived IT security requirements of an organisation, he said the money could be better served in buying more basic products to fulfill these functions.

“This investment in so-called ‘compliance technologies,’ such as firewalls, can be reduced, with the savings redirected into new prevention and detection systems which continuously monitor the data which flows in and out of the company,” he said.

“Importantly, it is constantly checking for abnormalities so that a breach can be identified almost instantaneously.”

Tucker said this is often missing from company IT infrastructures which don’t have this level of monitoring capability.

“Breaches can often go undetected for up to a year, potentially causing untold damage in the interim,” he said.

Security check-up

Not only is the security landscape changing, but Tucker said it is evolving as well, and so should the responses to it.

“It is no longer acceptable to just green light a program that just meets minimum compliance requirements,” he said.

As for what part Websense plays in addressing this situation, Tucker said that the security vendor has put together a program offering a free risk assessment of companies’ IT infrastructure.

This initiative is designed to identify vulnerabilities so the security spend can be allocated in a “much more targeted fashion.”

“This lets organisations know where they need to target their spending much more effectively, and more importantly manages risk in a more strategic way,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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