Research reveals stalemate in 'IT security war'

IT Priorities: The latest research from ZDNet UK and analyst Butler Group reveals that IT departments are continuing to spend much of their time focused on security rather than business development

Security continues to be the number one IT Priority for UK tech professionals despite claims from vendors that the war against hackers and malware writers is being won, according to research conducted by ZDNet UK and analyst company Butler Group.

The UK IT Priorities survey released on Tuesday reveals that despite advances made in security technology, there has been little or no reduction in the time IT professionals are spending trying to protect their business systems from attack.

You can download a full copy of the report here.

According to Butler Group, which authored the report using information collected by ZDNet UK, there has been a clear lack of progress when it comes to the development of security countermeasures across the industry.

"For some time there have been claims that the war is being won, and yet there is no reduction in the time and resource that IT professionals must devote to the campaign," the report states.

Identity management and authentication were also identified as of increasing importance to companies' security strategies according to Butler Group. The analyst claims that there is currently a huge driver for identity management as organisations have to manage increasing numbers of user identities – especially if employees and customers are accessing systems via the Web.

"Authentication and identity management…should be included as part of a security strategy, as these pose some of the greatest risks from unauthorised access to company systems if they are not managed effectively," the report states.

Toolkits of the latest information on security and the other issues highlighted in the report can be found here

Aside from concerns around security, the report also revealed that:

  • Application Development: Two-thirds of respondents see rich Internet applications as the future due to the advantages they offer in terms of end-user productivity and increased competitive advantage. For all the latest news, reviews and features on Application Development go to Builder UK, ZDNet UK's development centre.
  • Networking and Communications: The research showed that investment in networking and communications is being driven by the need for mobile access to networks. Butler Group claims that to maximise benefits from these investments, UK companies need to go beyond the basics and align their investment with wider business strategies.
  • Server Hardware: Virtualisation, blade servers and server consolidation were identified as the key techniques for improving the efficiency and utilisation rates of IT infrastructure. But despite these advances Butler Group claims that companies are being slow to implement wide-scale virtualisation projects.
  • Desktop Software: The survey showed that increased end-user productivity is driving 51 percent of respondents to invest in office productivity applications. But Butler Group claims that companies are failing to provide adequate training for their employees on the relevant software, meaning that they are not reaping the maximum benefit from their investments.

You can download a full copy of the UK IT Priorities Survey here.

For more information on the IT Priorities programme, go to the IT Priorities homepage.

For more information on Butler Group click here.

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