Fortress Technologies announced that, according to a newly released survey, 85 percent of enterprise IT managers believe that wireless networks require more security than wired networks in order to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of corporate data. Ironically though, little more than half (55 percent) have added a security product to address the problem.

A survey conducted by Survey.com, and sponsored by Fortress Technologies confirms that - although wireless has infiltrated more than 75 percent of the largest financial services, healthcare and manufacturing organizations - IT managers and senior IT executives still believe that security and lack of tangible ROI inhibit the buy-in, usage and deployment of wireless local area networks for line-of-business applications.

The majority of organizations surveyed said they have critical business applications on networks that now have some wireless exposure. An overwhelming 94 percent acknowledged that these applications contain data that, if compromised, could materially impact the business or brand. Given the urgency around protecting this data, most said that the quality of mass-market security products does not meet their high-assurance privacy needs. This feeling was most pervasive in the financial services and manufacturing industries.

Contrarily, many IT managers said they see only "some risk" to the business from wireless attacks. Sixty-three percent believe that there is minimal impact to their enterprise from a wireless interruption or denial of service attack. They equate this risk with "some time or money loss," but not enough to warrant concern.

Most report that they are taking steps to detect, monitor and control enterprise wireless use and the majority of organizations have adopted policies to regulate wireless and mitigate risk  - most notably financial services IT managers - with 90 percent reporting that corporate policies are in place today. Government organizations reported the lowest rate of policy adoption - only 41 percent, despite strict regulation of wireless in that industry.

At the other end of the spectrum, 20 percent of respondents have banned entirely the use of wireless in the enterprise and 28 percent prohibited the use of wireless at employees' homes when connected to the company LAN. Interestingly, government IT managers with policies in place were the most likely to restrict access entirely.

Methodology

The report queried several hundred enterprise IT managers and senior technology executives about wireless usage, operating practices and security concerns in their organizations. They represented financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and government organizations with between 500 and 10,000+ employees.

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