Sleep Walking, Viruses And Other IT Security Maladies

London, UK – 8th September 2004 – Email marketing specialist, emedia, has released its RapidResearch quarterly IT security survey which reveals that enterprises are continuing to provide a window of opportunity for viruses to perpetuate and spread. IT managers feel that security measures are hampered by lack of senior management priority and the shortfall between investment and requirements. With the recent and predicted increase in virus and spam attacks, companies may be sleep walking into greater security problems for the future.

RapidResearch conducted an online survey with 100 UK IT managers and directors across the technology, finance, construction, education, transport, health and telecoms industry sectors.

Anti-virus and patch management are the first lines of defence in IT security loopholes but amazingly, 12 per cent do not update their software frequently enough leaving one month or more between updates. This goes some way to explain why at the time of answering, 5 per cent of respondents advised that a virus currently infected them, despite all using anti-virus software.

Surely, as virus attacks continue to rise, some companies are continuing to fall far short of their responsibilities to ensure systems are uninfected.

David Clark, Managing Director at emedia commented: “The battle against viruses continues to rage. Companies can not afford to overlook the effective use of the tools available. Smart policies and practices should ensure that opted-in requested communication gets through and the unsolicited and potentially infected communication does not.”

Virus writers exploit critical vulnerabilities in commercial software, and vendors are finding it hard to ensure companies apply patches as soon as flaws are discovered. Thirty per cent of senior IT managers surveyed felt that the most important improvement that could be made was to keep technology up-to-date. Other areas highlighted for improvement were staff education (26 per cent) and security skills (20 per cent).

Yet many companies surveyed are not planning to invest significantly in IT security. Seventy per cent will be spending less than £10,000 this year. This indicates a huge difference between outlay, priority and needs. Fifty four per cent felt that security was not a top priority for senior management, and only 5 per cent took the view that cost was the most negative effect on their business from a security incident. They rather named time spent (53 per cent) and disruption (36 per cent) as the biggest negative effects.

Not surprisingly, 61 per cent think that security incidents will get worse in 2005.

Editors notes
Copies of the survey are available from Omarketing at +44 (0)208 255 5225. The ‘RapidResearch Quarterly IT Security Survey – Summer 2004’ focused on anti-virus and was concluded at the end of June 2004. Over 100 senior IT managers and executives replied. They represent most of the major industry sectors in the UK, and came from small, medium and large sized organisations.

About RapidResearch
RapidResearch is a quick and snappy online survey tool that enables highly targeted snapshot canvassing of opinion from senior managers across UK industries using emedia’s portfolio of B2B opt-in bulletins.

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About emedia emedia has been providing Internet marketing solutions to the business community since 1998.

emedia specialises in permission-based email direct marketing. It serves clients by using direct response email bulletins to acquire new business, increase brand awareness, website traffic and more. The 70 bulletins have over one million subscribers in total and reach professionals in a variety of sectors including IT, human resources, construction, finance and marketing.

emedia provides both unrivalled direct marketing experience and the technology infrastructure needed for businesses to successfully market to and communicate with thousands of our subscribers.

The emedia team handles all aspects of permission-based email messaging campaigns, including selecting the right bulletin to fit clients’ needs and target the people that they want to reach, designing email messages, testing and deploying email messaging campaigns and the tracking, reporting and analysis of results.

emedia clients include: Alliance & Leicester, Gartner Group, IBM, Lex Vehicle Leasing, SGI Northern Europe, SurfControl and Viking Direct Office Supplies.

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