Rising threats drive security spend

Security spending in the next 12 months to increase on fears of growing number of zero-day threats, a new customer survey from PatchLink shows.

Corporate IT security budgets are expected to go up in 2007, according to the findings of a new survey.

The survey, conducted by patch management vendor PatchLink, asked over 200 CIOs, CSOs (chief security officers), IT managers and network administrators across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the United States for their views on a range of security issues. These include organizations' security plans for 2007 and their perceptions of Microsoft Vista, the new operating system released to businesses in October.

In a statement Friday, PatchLink said that 66 percent of the IT professionals indicated that their organizations will increase spending on security over the next 12 months. This was despite 89 percent of the respondents acknowledging that their organizations are more secure compared to a year ago.

The survey also found that the increasing number of zero-day threats was a main factor for the projected bigger security budgets. About 29 percent of respondents indicated that the rising number of zero-day threats was the most important factor driving their security spending for 2007, while 22 percent and 21 percent opted for regulatory compliance and a growing mobile workforce, respectively, as the main driver for the forecasted uptrend in security expenditure.

IT administrators: Vista won't change things
According to PatchLink, its customers are cautious about Vista's state of security. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents believed that Vista will require more patches than Windows XP, while 23 percent felt otherwise. The majority--40 percent--were unsure.

Survey participants were also asked if they thought Vista was a more secure operating system compared to Windows XP--50 percent said 'Yes', 15 percent picked 'No' and the rest were unsure.

Nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they would use a third party solution on top of the security features built into Vista. Only 5 percent indicated they would not use other security products.

Nearly three-quarters, or 72 percent, said that their organization's patch management process would remain the same even if Vista was deployed. Seven percent of participants indicated that Vista would simplify their patch management process, and 13 percent said the process would become more difficult.