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Database Monitoring, SIEM Top IT's List

IT organizations want better visibility into their network in order to react more quickly to advanced threats, McAfee report finds
Is there such thing as overpatching? More than 40 percent of IT organizations say they patch everything possible just in case, according to a new report.

Nearly half of IT organizations worldwide say they patch monthly, and one-third patch weekly. The rest, 43 percent, don't have a handle on just which threats affect them, so they patch as much as they can, according to the new "McAfee Risk and Compliance Outlook: 2012" report.

Much of this depends on the visibility and control IT organizations have: More than 60 percent of respondents last year installed or updated existing tools to gain a better view of what's on their networks, what's happening in their networks, and to get better control over what goes on in their networks.

"Businesses are saying they have low visibility outside their infrastructure. A lot of this is the reality of advanced threats, which make them very wary," says Kim Singletary, director of technical solution marketing for McAfee. "They need more visibility and say, 'What I don't know is what I don't know.'"

Among the key tools they are looking to add this year are database monitoring, SIEM, and vulnerability assessment tools, the report found. More than 60 percent say they have the same visibility into their networks that they had in 2010, while 27 percent say their visibility has improved since then. Nearly 10 percent say they have less visibility.

Sixty percent of the IT organizations consider SIEM a key solution for real-time view of network events, applications, and databases, the survey found.

Singletary says organizations are realizing they can't stop determined attackers, but better visibility with database monitoring, for example, helps them react faster to an event. They also are able to better prioritize patching and defenses against various threats.

Budgets for security risk and compliance remain healthy, according to the survey. More than 95 percent say their budgets will be the same or better in 2012. And compliance is the driver for nearly 30 percent of IT projects.

Eric Schou, McAfee group product marketing manager, says he expected compliance to be playing a larger role in driving spending, but it appears that organizations are automating more of their compliance tasks.

Database security monitoring adoption, meanwhile, has been increasing 18 percent year over year in the report, he says.

The survey was conducted by Evaluserve and commissioned by McAfee. Nearly 450 IT professionals worldwide who evaluate, purchase, manage, and maintain security products participated in the survey. The full report is available for download here.

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