The survey suggests that business leaders are coming to grips with electronic security-better understanding the nature of threats, and setting organisational structures and spending patterns in place to ensure they are met in a robust way. Corporate spending on network security is levelling off at about 15% of IT budgets, suggesting a commitment on the part of the executive suite to maintain spend at a relatively high level to 'maintain the defences.'
The battle, however, is far from over: the source of security threats will continue to evolve, and their ingenuity will grow. At the same time, effective network security will come to be seen as more than just a means of protecting against risk.
Enabling a truly collaborative enterprise -- in which information is shared regularly with customers and other stakeholders, and in which mobile or remote employees are able to access this and other mission-critical company data -- requires secure IP networks. Inasmuch as expanding collaboration is seen by executives as a means to enhance competitive advantage, ensuring robust network security may be seen as critical to the achievement of a strategic business objective.
This is the second in a series of four thought-leadership papers written by AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit on the theme of network convergence and business strategy. Future papers in the series will address the issues of customer service and applications integration in a converged network environment.
These and other findings are presented in a new report called Network Security: Safeguarding the collaborative enterprise, which is now available at: http://www.att.com/emea/insights/whitepaper/security_2005.html.