European firms lost in IT security labyrinth

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European firms lost in IT security labyrinth

Complex multi-vendor systems difficult to manage.

Attempts to simplify IT security management are being widely undermined by complex security purchasing strategies, new research claimed today.

A study of 600 businesses across the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy found that over three quarters of respondents would like to have a single view of the security of their IT infrastructure.

However, nearly a third of enterprises questioned use four or more management consoles, and a quarter have five or more different security suppliers.

The research was conducted by Ipsos MORI Research and commissioned by security firm McAfee.

In addition to multiple vendors, many businesses are deploying a large number of security offerings across their organisation.

Nearly a third of enterprises questioned have five or more security solutions deployed, while one in five have seven or more.

The story varies across Europe. A third of Dutch businesses have five or more suppliers, while nearly one in five have more than 10 security vendors. In France, on the other hand, one in three businesses use only one supplier.

British companies use the most security technology, according to the survey, with 44 percent deploying five or more systems and nearly a third using seven or more.

A third of Italian enterprises also use seven or more products, while in Spain only one in five of those questioned admitted to using five or more.

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

Across the whole of Europe over half of respondents said that they apply patches once a day or more.

Italian businesses are the biggest users of patches, with 67 percent admitting to deploying patches at least once a day, followed by 61 percent of German businesses.

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

"Managing a range of solutions from a range of vendors is a headache. It is also inefficient and expensive," he said.
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