Survey confirms shifting security threat landscape

Hackers are now the area of least worry for the UK̵7;s IT directors, with 22 per cent of respondents feeling they are the biggest threat according to a survey by Secure Computing.

Malware appears to be their premier headache, with 56 per cent identifying it as their biggest source of concern. The survey also uncovers a rising concern of insider threats and widespread acknowledgement of being unprepared for emerging Web-based attacks.

The research was carried out among senior attendees at the InfoSecurity Europe exhibition in April (2008). When asked whether they believed insider or outsider threats posed a bigger problem to their organisation, more than 80 per cent of the 103 IT directors surveyed prioritise insider threats (defined as either unintentional data leakage or deliberate data theft).

Some 17 per cent of respondents feel the external threats posed by hackers are more dangerous.

This could be in part due to the fact that 37 per cent of respondents have experienced leakage of sensitive information in the past year. In line with this, internal security is at the top of IT directors̵7; priority lists when respondents were asked to rank potential future investments that included perimeter security, staff mobility and network performance.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Email is identified as the biggest current security risk to respondents̵7; organizations ̵1; cited by 34 per cent of those surveyed.
  • Voice over IP comes second - 25 per cent - and is deemed a bigger threat than browser-related threats, which only 21 per cent of IT Directors feel is the biggest threat.

Despite this apparent confidence, however, 79 per cent of respondents feel they could be better prepared for Web-borne threats.

Established external threats continue to be the biggest concern in a developing Web 2.0 environment. Viruses top the list of offenders, with 31 per cent of IT directors feeling it is the biggest threat, while spam comes in second (18 per cent), and data leaks third (14 per cent). 

Further information:

Image: 80 per cent of the 103 IT directors surveyed by Secure Computing prioritise insider threats - defined as either unintentional data leakage or deliberate data theft

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