Organizations deal with a broad range of security threats

Spyware, viruses and worms continue to plague most organizations, but security challenges tied to the use of handheld devices and mobile and remote computing are growing at a rapid pace, new research commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals.

The survey of more than 2,000 individuals found that viruses and worms, cited by 54 percent of respondents, and spyware, selected by 51 percent, continue to be the top two information security threats organizations face today.

But security issues related to handheld devices, and to mobile and remote workers, are clearly emerging concerns. In each of the four countries where surveys were conducted – the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and China – more than 50 percent of respondents said security threats related to use of handheld devices has increased significantly compared to one year ago.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents surveyed (71 percent) said their organizations allow mobile and remote employees to access data and networks, yet relatively few have implemented security awareness training tailored specifically for the mobile and remote workforce. Just 39 percent of respondents said their organizations have implemented security awareness training and education, while 19 percent said they intend to do so in 2008.

Yet among organizations that have implemented such training for remote and mobile employees, 92 percent of respondents believe that the number of major security breaches has been reduced.