Regulatory compliance and protecting intellectual property (IP) are among the top reasons driving demand for security productsnot phishing, worms, spyware and hack attacks, according to a recent report from Merrill Lynch & Co.
Some 50 North American chief information security officers (CISOs) participated in the survey. Put simply, they said regulatory compliance ranks as the top business reason driving demand for security software. Next came protecting access by unauthorized intrusions and unplanned downtime.
Security software and infrastructure represents a relatively small portion of their respective company's IT budgets, with 78 percent report allocating less than 10 percent of overall spend. Respondents, however, expect to increase spending an average of 11.4 percent during the next 12-18 months.
Respondents expect to increase spending for endpoint security an average of 32 percent during the next 12 months, with Symantec products garnering the strongest preference in this category. Strong authentication followed with an average expected spending increase of 27 percent, with RSA Security in the lead.
Intrusion detection and prevention followed with an average expected annual spending increase of 21 percent and employee Internet management with 20 percent. Anti-virus applications ranked the lowest with a six percent increase, followed by anti-spam at eight percent, firewall and virtual private network (VPN) at 12.5 percent and anti-spyware at 15 percent, Merrill Lynch said.
When asked the vendors that will become more strategic to their organization's IT security strategy, respondents noted the top five as Microsoft at 84 percent; Symantec, 80 percent; Cisco Systems, 78 percent; RSA Security, 64 percent; and Internet Security Systems, 36 percent. More than one answer applied.
The top five vendors that respondents said are becoming less strategic in security strategies include Computer Associates, Secure Computing, Trend, IBM and Critix.
Twenty percent of respondents cited Symantec as the technology company deserving more recognition for their products; followed by Cisco at eight percent; Trend Micro, six percent; Microsoft, six percent; and Internet Security Systems, six percent; and Veritas, four percent. Others include Cybertrust, Lancope, NetContinuum, Solidcore, Vontu, Vormetric, BDNA and Postini.
What companies are overrated when it comes to security applications, asked Merrill Lynch in the survey. Respondents said Microsoft came in first with 10 percent; followed by Symantec with four percent; Trend Micro, four percent; and Cisco Systems, four percent. Other vendors receiving a mention include IMlogic, McAfee, Tipping Point, Symantec's ESM, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, Webroot and Linux.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared at InformationWeek.