Security Drops Off Government IT Agenda

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But it’s possible to get security bundled in with other technology, so don’t worry, says Citrix

IT security has plunged dramatically in the priorities of government organisations in the UK – but there is still hope that they may get the security they need, according to a survey.

If they were given more money, only six percent of public sector IT directors would invest it in security, according to a survey released by Citrix at the Infosec event in London. This is a dramatic change from a year ago, when the company found that 59 percent of public sector IT managers rated security as their top priority.

“It’s a result of the economic reality,” said Chris Mayers, chief security architect at Citrix, a vendor of virtualisation and application delivery. “Companies are spending to save, and that pushes them towards virtualisation and shared services.” The survey was carried out a Citrix’ Government Forum meeting last month.

The good news is that companies may actually be able to get more security with less investment this year, he said: “Centralising and sharing services plays to the cost saving agenda, but it also means there are fewer machines running and IT managers have more visibility of what is going on.”

This year, companies expect to get security included in all the systems they buy, instead of having to spend on security in its own right as a separate item. “They may be able to apply their budget differently to get what they need.”

Leicestershire’s police force is getting security as part of a remote access solution, for instance, said Mayers. One hundred of the Constabulary’s cars will have rugged terminals installed in them, so police have remote access, through Citrix’ XenDesktop, to the online systems they would use in the office.

“This brings them closer to paperless policing, so they can have more time on the beat,” said Mayers. “It’s also secure because the data remains in the server, and only the screen image is sent to the car.”

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