VanDyke Software, a developer of customer-driven software solutions for secure data communications, and Saurage Research, an independent research/survey firm, announced findings from a recent survey of 710 small and medium-size organizations that identify enterprise IT security managers' priorities in protecting their enterprise. In one of the key findings in the survey, IT security professionals identified individuals within the enterprise as being among the top 10 perceived security threats. Analysis shows that insiders were involved in a significant number of the top 10 actual security breaches suffered in 2002. Another key finding of the survey was that while most organizations have addressed external threats to security by deploying firewall and antivirus solutions, a tremendous amount of work remains to be done to protect data from both external and internal threats.

According to the survey, which was conducted in Q4 2002 with IT professionals in companies with less than 100 employees, the top eight security threats experienced were:

  • Viruses (78 percent);
  • System penetration (50 percent);
  • Denial of service (40 percent);
  • Insider abuse (29 percent);
  • Spoofing (28 percent);
  • Laptop theft (22 percent);
  • Data/network sabotage (20 percent);
  • Unauthorized insider access (16 percent).

Eighty of the 710 surveyed said they had experienced zero occurrences of security threats in 2002. The top eight perceived security threats expressed by the survey respondents included:

  • System penetration (66 percent);
  • Sabotage of data networks (45 percent);
  • Theft of proprietary information (40 percent);
  • Denial of service (34 percent);
  • Viruses (23 percent);
  • Unauthorized insider access (18 percent);
  • Laptop theft (13 percent);
  • Insider abuse of the Internet (11 percent).

Other findings from the survey show five percent of the respondents have a concern about telecom eavesdropping, with three percent viewing wiretapping as a threat. The survey respondents said the following eight types of security software were used in their business:

  • Anti-virus (90 percent);
  • Firewall (86 percent);
  • File Transfer (75 percent);
  • Terminal emulation (71 percent);
  • Remote access (67 percent);
  • Encryption (67 percent);
  • Virtual Private Networks (59 percent);
  • Intrusion detection (42 percent).

Eighty-three percent of those surveyed said that preferred solutions came from recommendations, 57 percent cited price as a significant factor, and 35 percent noted they expect performance guarantees from vendors.

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