Gartner: Too Much Hype Breeds Cautious Security Spending

Over-hyped security initiatives have drained budgets and CEO confidence in IT expenditures, making corporate execs cautious about further security implementations this year, according to a new Gartner report.
Over-hyped security initiatives drained budgets and CEO confidence in IT expenditures, making corporate execs cautious about further security implementations this year, according to a new Gartner report.

IT security remains a top enterprise focus, but CIOs and CSOs are struggling to wade through continued hype, tightening budgets and business executives who may be struggling with a high-tech form of buyer's remorse.

''The inhibiting effects of the economic downturn and buyer's remorse over previous grand plan security initiatives are in balance with a defensive stance driven by modern political realities, as well as demands for privacy," says Victor S. Wheatman, vice president and research area director for Gartner. ''The result is that enterprises tend to implement products and services that are 'good enough', while navigating through minefields of over-promoted products, or products so advanced, the need is not readily apparent.''

Wheatman was speaking at Gartner Symposium/IT Expo in San Diego this week.

''Investing in an over-hyped technology too early can result in a complete waste of enterprises security funds,'' Wheatman adds. ''Enterprises should focus on their assessment of business needs and threats to prioritize security needs.''

Gartner analysts say there is a fairly short list of security issues that are key to enterprises in 2003. That list includes:

  • Wireless LAN security -- Insecure wireless LANS represent a serious point of potential failure for enterprise networks, Gartner analysts argue.

  • Identity Management and provisioning -- The FBI considers identity theft to be a rampant cybercrime, but social engineering and denial-of-service attacks are threats that also need to be addressed.

  • The next Code Red/Nimda -- Code Red and Nimda reportedly cost companies as much as $3 billion. And then came Slammer, costing companies more than $1 billion in a few days.

  • Instant Messaging Security -- The tool that has caught on like wildfire among corporate users is creating a host of worrisome holes, say Gartner analysts.





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