Breaches in Security Awaken Companies to the Need for Security Technology, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – FEBRUARY 12, 2001 – Nothing will convince a company to adopt security technology faster than a major security breach within its organization. This is a key finding in IDC's new report North American Security Technology Adoption Trends: A Vertical Market Segmentation. Other key drivers include increased Internet use and the implementation of virtual private networks. eBusiness initiatives also play a key role in driving the implementation of security solutions.


"For companies conducting ebusiness, security and privacy options aren't value-added features. They're core requirements for conducting business," said Lucie Draper, an analyst with IDC's Technology Integration Panel Study research program.

IDC's report is based on a survey of more than 1,000 companies in North America. Almost all respondent organizations, regardless of their industry, are either using or adopting some type of security technology. However, the type of security and a company's ability to effectively respond to a security breach vary widely by industry.

"The extent of the impact a particular event may have on security measures undertaken at a company depends strongly on the company's primary business activity. For example, government regulations as they relate to security and privacy are of particular concern to the healthcare industry," Draper said.

"Some industries are more vulnerable to security breaches than others, and the most vulnerable, or frequently hit, companies are not always those reacting and repelling attacks most effectively," she added.

In all industries, antiviral tools are the most common security technology. Hardware-based firewall appliances and intrusion-detection solutions are also extremely popular. They are most prevalent in the banking, financial services, healthcare services, communications, utilities, and government industries, but they are barely a blip on the radar screen in the retail industry.

The most frequent and widespread type of infraction to a company's IS infrastructure is a virus infection at the client or server level. More than 90% of respondents to IDC's survey indicated their organizations had been impacted by a virus. While viruses strike a significant number of companies regardless of industry, what distinguished industries is their ability to repel virus attacks at their inception. The resources, government, and utilities sectors are the most likely to stop a virus attack before it accomplishes any damage. On the other hand, retail, education, engineering and management, healthcare services and transportation companies have the most trouble recognizing and stopping virus attacks.

IDC's report, North American Security Technology Adoption Trends: A Vertical Market Segmentation (IDC #B23608), analyzes the trends in Internet and network security infractions and technology adoption across North American vertical markets. The report explores organizations’ adoption of a range of security technologies, outsourcing of management, and spending patterns. Security technologies discussed include antivirus tools, hardware-based firewall technologies, security management applications, intrusion detection, encryption, hardware- and software-based tokens, and client and server certificates. Results in the report are segmented by industry.

To purchase this report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4389, or email her at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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