Security is on the European agenda — but the philosophy is faulty

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The proliferation of internet use throughout Europe has significantly increased the risks faced in terms of IT-related security threats. To thrive in today’s ebusiness world, European companies are realizing they must have the proper security for their internet infrastructures. Unfortunately, more resources are aimed at barricading access to resources rather than facilitating controlled access.

“First, companies tend to focus on keeping the bad guys out – without considering the needs of legitimate users from both inside and outside their organizations,” said Sandra Baccari Edler, research analyst from IDC’s European Business Infrastructure program. “More importantly, companies often implement one or more security measures and believe themselves secure, when a cohesive, holistic security policy is required to create a truly secure environment.”

Companies with no security in place or those whose security is comprised of a piecemeal approach are in immediate danger of succumbing to cyber-crime. In addition, they risk losing business to competitors who race ahead of them in the eEconomy.

Companies that employ security measures favour virus detection software – with 97% of respondents citing their use of it. Not surprisingly, security measures drop in popularity as they increase in complexity and cost. The implementation of firewalls, used by 67% of companies, is straightforward, while complex public key infrastructure solutions that require extensive management are used by only 9% of respondents.

“When we examine the reasons for investing in security,” said Edler, “it is clear this investment is aimed at barricading access to resources rather than facilitating controlled access. If ebusiness in Europe is to be successful, this approach will have to change,” she added.

The security services market in Europe is still in its infancy, but its growth is being fuelled by a number of factors, including:
• the ebusiness explosion
• increased access to company resources
• brand protection.

As business increasingly moves from the ‘real’ world into the virtual world of the web, the value of a company’s brand name will be one of its most important assets. Failure to ensure a secure ebusiness environment for customers will almost certainly result in depreciation of brand – something that is extremely difficult to regain.

The report, Security Services: Protecting the eBusiness Infrastructure, gives an overview of the security services market in Europe. It identifies the drivers and inhibitors that are affecting the development of the security services market in Europe. It describes security elements in use, as well as the primary obstacles and threats IT managers face in their bid to secure their organizations. Finally, the report provides advice on the development of Europe’s security services and provides a conceptual model for how security should work to facilitate ebusiness.

IDC

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