Managing network security is worse than root canal work, according to - you've guessed it - a management systems vendor. NetIQ's survey also said regulatory compliance is the becoming the main driver for organisations to step up their security.

A study of 1,361 technology managers worldwide found the majority of organisations have an unmanageable number of different security products.

David Taylor, NetIQ regional director for Australia and New Zealand, says 70 percent of local respondents found security management stressful and a hassle due to the proliferation of security threats and solutions that address them. "Some would rather fill out a tax return, have a fight with their spouse or get a root canal," he said.

More than half the respondents have four or more different point solutions to address security problems, while nearly a quarter have ten or more, said Taylor. Viruses, worms and external hacking are by far the most common concerns for respondents, but there is also widespread concern over unauthorised access by employees, spam, phishing and attacks based on known system vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, more organisations are rethinking security strategies to keep apace with new regulatory requirements, rather than to guard against hackers.

The company says nearly 70 percent of respondents in another of its surveys - the so-called Security Snapshot Survey - were beefing up security because of regulatory compliance.

Legislation, regulation and policies such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act were key factors in these decisions. Of those surveyed 85 percent had increased their security spend during the past 12 months. "Organisations are driven by what they have to do to be compliant," said Taylor.