Integration needed to shore up security holes

A 'scattergun' approach to compliance and security from companies and a lack of integrated products on the market are leaving firms open to attack

Businesses are taking an outdated "scattergun" approach to IT security that is leaving them exposed to viruses and hack attacks, according to an analyst report.

The Butler Group warns that organisations are leaving security holes by pulling together a patchwork of individually focused security products to try and protect their networks, systems and applications.

The growing raft of regulatory and compliance issues faced by businesses are also driving the need for more integrated security across the enterprise.

But the report, Security Management,  also slams the IT supplier industry for failing to provide businesses with more integrated security tools.

Andy Kellett, senior research analyst at the Butler Group, said in the report: "One thing is very clear. No single software or security vendor can deal with all the issues that are being raised under the Security Management banner. Today's fragmented delivery of IT security services is not good enough, and must be replaced with a more integrated and manageable approach."

Butler Group predicts the IT security industry as a whole is entering an evolutionary stage where across-the-board market forces will drive radical change.

"We have already seen a move towards the delivery of blended solutions in the antivirus, anti-spam and firewall sectors. With other point-based protection markets moving in similar directions, the conclusion has to be that for both public and private sector business users, the days of the single function protection system are coming to an end," said Kellett.

Global spend on IT security products is tipped to rise from $20bn (£11bn) in 2004 to almost $32bn by 2008, according to Datamonitor.