The recession is causing enterprises to undertake a network security consolidation project.

A survey by Fortinet found that 90 per cent of respondents are likely to undertake a consolidation project in the next 12 months, with two-thirds of them driven by the benefits of simplified management and reduced operating costs.

Those surveyed were asked whether they were likely to ‘undertake some form of network security consolidation project' in the next 12 months. Only six per cent of financial services businesses said ‘no', compared to 15 per cent in the manufacturing sector and ten per cent in retail, distribution and transportation.

Half of the respondents also claimed that following their experience of recession, they stated their future wariness to the purchase and use of a rigid ‘per-user' licensing models.

Paul Judd, regional director at Fortinet, said: “The typical data centre has got anti-virus, a gateway and a firewall, typically technologies whereby there are different manufacturers and as it comes to the market there are four or five different people monitoring different boxes. This means that the operational costs are high and there is also less service, it is difficult to know what is going on at one point in time.

“Even with two boxes, from an operating viewpoint, it is easy to monitor them both at the same time. If you look at the boxes in a financial services company, this is one area that has been particularly hit by the financial situation, and typically they have far fewer staff and they have to look at ways to be more efficient. At some point they have to reduce the operating asset.”

While there was an overwhelming proportion (90 per cent) that answered that they would consider a move to unified threat management, geographically the figures show an interesting trend. This is because just 73.5 per cent of UK enterprises answered 'yes', compared with 96.5 per cent in Germany and 99 per cent in France.

Judd claimed that this was a particularly eye-catching statistic. “There are two ways to look at this, we were either early adopters and had done most of it already, or we are more reluctant and we will move to adopt it but we are more conservative and follow the lead of mainland Europe,” said Judd.

Patrice Perche, vice-president EMEA at Fortinet, said: “Mid and large scale organisations are being more progressive in their security strategies, and looking at mature, enterprise-ready integrated security solutions to heighten performance, reduce cost and tighten security through consolidation.”