Generic Security risks keep IT managers up at night

A thousand IT managers in North American enterprises say their top security concern is not hacking or on-line intrusion, but simply the daily bombardment of their company networks by viruses, spyware and spam. A survey of IT managers conducted by Info-Tech Research Group’s Indaba Division says the top concern across all industries is the category of generic external threats known as ‘malware’.

“We measured seven key areas of security issues with IT managers and the largest concentration of concern – 30 per cent higher than any other threat type – was the unrelenting flow of generic threats originating across the web,” said Ed Daugavietis, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. “Malware is definitely a major cause of sleepless nights for the IT manager today.”

Info-Tech conducted the study over several months during summer, 2006 and measured threat perceptions and security solution implementation status by companies across a broad spectrum of industries and company sizes. Other threats considered included targeted attacks, mobile device threats, and physical data center security. In a recent press release based on the same study, Info-Tech stated that U.S. companies are allocating an average of 7.3 per cent of their IT budgets to security, with a total of $US61 billion being spent on security by IT departments in 2006.

Info-Tech recommends that organizations continue investing in anti-malware solutions to ensure networks are well protected from the constant barrage of spam, viruses, Trojans, worms and other malware threats.

“IT managers would be wise to ensure that they are using consolidated solutions as much as possible to protect their information assets against these threats. Using point security solutions may offer effective security, but can be an administrative nightmare,” said James Quin, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group.

Using solutions such as Unified Threat Management (UTM) devices allows enterprises to manage their anti-malware solutions from the same common management interface as their firewall, Intrusion Detection and Protection (IDP), and other tools. The simplified management afforded by consolidated security solutions will lead to a higher overall level of security, Quin advises.

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