IT security “worse than root canal”

IT security “worse than root canal”

MANAGING security on their networks is such a headache for many IT administrators, they would rather undergo a root canal.

At the same time, regulatory compliance is the becoming the main driver for organisations to step up their security.

These are the findings of recent surveys conducted by management systems vendor NetIQ, who says clever resellers can turn these challenges into opportunities.

A study of 1,361 technology managers worldwide, including 98 in Australia and New Zealand, found the majority of organisations have an unmanageable number of different security products.

David Taylor, NetIQ regional director for Australia and New Zealand, says 70% of local respondents found security management stressful and a hassle due to the proliferation of security threats and solutions that address them.

“Some would rather fill out a tax return, have a fight with their spouse or get a root canal,” he says.

More than half the respondents have four or more different point solutions to address security problems, while nearly a quarter have ten or more, says Taylor.

Viruses, worms and external hacking are by far the most common concerns for respondents, but there is also widespread concern over unauthorised access by employees, spam, phishing and attacks based on known system vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, more organisations are rethinking security strategies to keep apace with new regulatory requirements, rather than to guard against hackers, according to another NetIQ survey.

The company says nearly 70% of respondents in its recent Security Snapshot Survey of 280 Australia and New Zealand security professionals were beefing up security because of regulatory compliance.

Legislation, regulation and policies such as the Australian Government Information and Communications Technology Security Manual (ACSI-33) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act were key factors in these decisions. Of those surveyed 85% had increased their security spend during the past 12 months, NetIQ states.

“Organisations are driven by what they have to do to be compliant,” says Taylor.

IT service providers have a big role to play to help customers solve both their security management and compliance problems, adds Taylor.

“There really is a big business opportunity out there,” he says.

Packages like NetIQ’s Security Manager enable IT managers to identify and manage security threats by consolidating information from a wide range of security products operating within their organisation, while its configuration and vulnerability management tools address compliance issues, says Taylor.

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