Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 23 September 2005 10:00

Security costs skyrocket for Australian enterprises


Information security investments (manpower and financial) are spiralling upward, with over half of large Australian enterprises saying costs have increased by at least 50% from two years ago, according to a new survey.

The survey, by network security vendor, Crossbeam Systems, found that 32% of Australian enterprises surveyed said the manpower and financial investment in securing their network today had increased about 50% from two years ago. An additional 22% said it had at least doubled. 30% said their security costs had increased about 25% in the last two years, 14% said it  was about the same and 2% said it had decreased.

"Security professionals are defending enterprise information assets on a number of fronts, requiring a large number of security applications - firewalls, identity management, anti-virus/content filtering and intrusion detection/prevention -- and the deployment of multiple security devices and servers," said Peter Owen, country manager, Australia & New Zealand for Crossbeam Systems.

"At the same time, low appliance-to-administrator ratios mean that ever-increasing specialist resources are required to configure, monitor and manage them," Owen said. "This proliferation of security software and hardware systems - and the administrators required to operate them - has seen the cost of securing the enterprise rise sharply in recent years."

The survey found that the two most pressing business issues in securing the enterprise are consolidating security infrastructure and complying with governance regulations - each issue cited as 'significant' or 'very significant' by 65% of respondents. Finding talented security staff was also rated a 'significant' or 'very significant' challenge by 61% of  respondents.

According to the report, the Unified Threat Management (UTM) market grew dramatically in 2004 to more than US$333 million in total revenue, an increase of 200% over the previous year. Between now and 2009, research group IDC expects the UTM market to have a ompound annual growth rate of almost 50% and grow to a $US2.4 billion market. At that point, UTM will be the largest Threat Management sub-market ahead of both Firewall/VPN and Intrusion Detection & Prevention.

Other key findings of the survey were:

* 81% of respondents are concerned about the complexity of their security architecture;

* The greatest technology challenges for enterprises are internal LAN security (rated significant by 75% of respondents) and firewall virtualisation (58%);

* 53% of enterprises have deployed over 20 security devices, and 45% have implemented over seven different security applications;

* Only 18% of enterprises are able to manage 30 or more devices with a single administrator, with the largest number of respondents (40%) stating that, on average, a single administrator is managing just 1-10 devices;

* Just one third conduct regular, formal reviews of their enterprise security infrastructure.

60% of respondents came from enterprises with over 5000 employees, 18% from enterprises with 1000-5000 staff and 20% from enterprises with 100-1000 staff.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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