Internal data security still inadequate

Implementing a converged IP (Internet protocol) network may be a priority at many large and mid-sized companies in Europe, but the skills they need to extract the full benefits from moving voice and other applications to an IP backbone are in short supply.

A survey of 300 European data and telecoms managers by network integrator NextiraOne, found that three-quarters of companies suffer from a shortfall in IP skills.

Businesses’ critical data is still not being adequately protected at many organisations as they struggle to enforce internal data security policies, says the Enterprise Strategy Group.

A survey of 227 security professionals by the information management sector analysts found that 47% classify at least half of their company’s data as ‘confidential’. However, only 18% of them believe that this sensitive data is being properly protected.

Distributed devices pose the biggest risks to confidential data. Around two thirds of respondents said that confidential data is most likely to be exposed via laptop computers, followed by hardcopy generated by desktop (40%), and data held on various mobile devices (40%) such as PDAs and BlackBerrys.

Much of that exposure stems from a weak adherence to policy. Only 23% of respondents said their security systems completely enforce their data security policies. And that is leading many to adopt technologies that make security more water-tight.

Encryption is one area of investment, driven by regulatory compliance, risk management and a growing need to open up applications to people outside the firewall. At this point, the ESG poll shows, only a third of companies encrypt data ‘at rest’ (stored data), although a further 40% said are planning or interested in such a move. But interviewees expressed concerns that data encryption would negatively impact application performance, inflate storage costs and prove hard to manage.

* Repeated pleas for stronger passwords are still being ignored, according to a survey of over 1,000 business PC users and system administrators by security vendor Sophos. Only 14% have different passwords for every website they access, while 41% use the same one for every online access. According to systems administrators, nearly 75% of employees choose weak and predictable passwords, and 45% use only a handful for everything.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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