A recent survey of 50 ASPs indicates that approximately 25 percent had substandard security, lacking fundamentals such as user authentication, virus protection, network security and firewall services. The survey, conducted by IDC, notes that these are integral elements of a security plan. Although the majority of respondents seem to have the basics down, there are still ASPs offering customers access to applications in an unprotected environment, IDC says. "Businesses understand that a breach in security could result in severe financial losses, never mind the damage to the company's reputation," says Jessica Goepfert, program manger with IDC’s ASP and application management services research program. "It’s up to the ASP to stay on top of these security systems in order to simply stay in the game."

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