Information security professionals in general want a single, comprehensive endpoint security system, but endpoint security deployment typically is tactical and driven more by firefighting than strategy, according to a new report from research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

“Our data shows that security professionals know that endpoints are at risk, but their current responses still seem tactical and incident-driven,” Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at ESG, said in a statement. “It’s time to take a more holistic view of endpoint security and determine which tools, such as advanced malware detection and granular data security, will and should top the list of any comprehensive solution, whether that’s from a single vendor or a combination of best-of-breed technologies.”

Despite recognition of the problem that endpoints are still at risk and data breaches are increasingly common, more than one third of the 340 U.S. IT and security professionals surveyed are not addressing the problem strategically. The data shows that this is because security staff are spending too much time attending to high-priority issues.

More than half of the respondents in the study, conducted on behalf of Digital Guardian, increased their budgets for endpoint security. But much of the investment went to anti-virus (AV) solutions. Nearly one third of respondents describe a complex enterprise landscape where they deploy three or more unique AV products. Compounding this complexity is the fact that more than half of those surveyed shift between AV vendors frequently, which impacts end-user performance and drains IT resources.

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