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Securing endpoints is an investment priority, survey reveals

About 90% of IT decision-makers are investing in ways to better manage the security of endpoint computing devices, a survey has revealed.

While the focus is on securing servers, PCs and laptops, over half of nearly 300 IT decision-makers polled by IBM X-Force researchers say they are also extending security to smartphones and other devices, and plan to increase spending in this area.

The research report says it is critical for businesses to ensure endpoint devices remain available, secure and compliant in the face of an influx of smartphones and other devices interacting with corporate networks.

Researchers estimate that by 2015 there will be around one trillion connected devices, including PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, ATMs, retail kiosks, and smart meters, each of which will generate, transmit, consume or analyse a portion of the 275 exabytes per day of data that Gartner predicts will be reached by 2020.

The survey found that although 73% of respondents allow non-traditional endpoints, such as mobile devices or tablets, to connect to their corporate networks, 36% feel that these devices are not adequately protected and would like to see their companies invest more in managing the security of smartphones, point-of-sale (POS) systems and other smart devices. Also:

40% of those surveyed indicated that their company is planning to increase their investment in security to manage and protect non-traditional endpoints

80% of respondents expect their organisation to add new endpoints to their network in 2011.

72% say that PCs and laptops are the endpoints which pose the greatest danger to their firms' IT security, smartphones and tablets are viewed as a growing threat.

One-third of respondents acknowledged that the inability to have visibility into all of their endpoints is their greatest security concern.

"The endpoint of 2011 is no longer just a PC or laptop, but the entire range of interconnected and instrumented devices and sensors that comprise the smarter planet," said Steve Robinson, general manager, IBM Security Solutions.

This trend, he said, continues to validate IBM's strategy to invest more in endpoint management.


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