Free can be very expensive

Recently, WildPackets did a study on the
growing cost of rogue network access, and found that this is a problem
that 25% of IT managers are spending more than 10 hours per week trying
to solve. For many companies, the amount of time and money spent on
network security will continue to increase as the number of
telecommuters grows to 100 million by 2008.

Why is this, and what can be done to avoid it?

The problem is simple. Instead of investing in the best commercially
available training and tools available for the long term, many
companies are looking to save money in the short term. One way to save
money now is to invest nothing. This is very dangerous, and not
recommended under any circumstance. By investing nothing in network
security, a problem that exists and must be addressed, companies
inadvertently spend more, in wasted time and software development that
is outside their core business.

Here is how it happens. The IT staff, tasked with network security
and no budget, will do what they can for free. This is an honorable
thing to do, and in their defense will show how much they have done,
with so little money. Free is a tricky term though. And in the end,
free can be very expensive.

You see, “free”, in this context involves people spending time,
often times developing software. This is a big red flag, and one that
you should watch out for, and avoid. As we all know, time is money, and
development requires a lot of both. Development includes creating tools
from scratch, and using open source software, neither of which are
free. On the contrary, they are investments, and expensive ones at that.

Just think about it. If your organization is a bank, a hospital, a
branch of government, or even a database company, should it be
investing in the development of network security software? Is that your
core competence? Dare I say not. And by the way, finding an open source
solution is not free at all. The many hidden costs including research,
compilation, maintenance and training, all add up.

And when the local expert decides to leave the company, what do you
do then? Who are you going to call? Not if, but when that happens, you
are either going to continue sliding down the slippery slope of “free”
software, or you are going to do what should have done in the first
place, and buy WildPackets OmniPeek.

WildPackets has been at work, developing OmniPeek for every 20
years. If you add up the total hours invested, you get a very very big
number. Trust me, this is a number of hours that you do not want to
invest your own money into, for a problem that has already been solved.
For a fraction of that price, IT can invest in and use OmniPeek to
solve all of its network security problems. And when new IT staff come
on board, trust me again, they will already know how to use OmniPeek.
In fact, it should be on their resume.

WildPackets OmniPeek software and hardware solutions provide
visibility into the entire network. WildPackets also provides training
on network security and network troubleshooting. Investing in
WildPackets significantly lowers TCO and increases ROI. To learn more,
join in and listen to one of our regularly scheduled web seminars.
Schedules and registration are posted on our home page.

Remember, packets never lie!

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