Security pros doubt their network-based security

Brocade’s “man-on-the-street” survey at this week’s RSA conference in San Francisco, revealed that 47 percent of respondents believe their network security solutions are less than 25 percent effective in thwarting security threats. Given the frequency of new attacks on networks every day, it’s clear IT security professionals aren’t feeling prepared.

Of those polled, nearly 20 percent of those surveyed believe their company’s security policies that deal with threats or data leaks are not being enforced effectively, while 80 percent believe the policies are only being “somewhat enforced.” Therefore, regardless of how ironclad a company’s security policies are, enforcing them 100 percent of the time is impossible and can expose a company to outside threats unnecessarily.

When asked about sources of security threats and breaches, 48 percent of those polled identified individuals within their organization providing or selling sensitive information to competitive companies as their most serious security concern; this was followed by concerns about threats posed by foreign governments (15%) and hacking attacks by cyber criminals (10%).

Despite the constant threat of foreign entities and governments infiltrating U.S. companies that have made headlines, most security executives’ fears are overwhelmingly focused on internal competitive threats vs. a malicious foreign attack.

Another interesting finding revealed that nearly 40 percent of those surveyed felt background checks on employees were ineffective in determining if that person could be a potential spy for a competitor or foreign government.

The survey polled 144 conference attendees that are involved in the IT security decision making process within a wide variety of industries including networking manufacturing, education, software, healthcare, telecommunications, government and finance.

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