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"MANAGING RISK" NO LONGER SELLS

Source: Security Wire Digest

Posted on August 7, 2003

      "You'll be much better off if you just do it." That mantra used to sell security, but no longer, says Forrester analyst Steve Hunt.

      In a report titled, "The IT security market will remain stagnant until vendors and customers stop misunderstanding security's value," he responds to an oft-poised customer question: "They're asking me why [customers aren't] spending," even though they have the money, Hunt says.

      "They can't decide what to buy," he says, due to "a lot of pressure from IT management and corporate executives to justify spending," he says.

      With the exception of financial and defense sectors, "Businesses don't care about risk management, they only care about benefit management," says Hunt.

      Three things are immune: antispam, antivirus and identity management. The first two affect executives, an easy sell, while the last provides rapid, demonstrable ROI.

      "It's a good analysis," says Counterpane CEO Bruce Schneier. "Investing in security is just like investing in any other part of the business; if it's not going to be a profitable investment, businesses aren't going to do it."

      To cross the hump, Hunt advocates cross-department security steering committees--in use at companies such as Xerox, Microsoft and Sprint--to better emphasize the tie-in between security and business needs.




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