Network administrators are becoming more comfortable with the level of
security at their businesses, but they’re still worried about the havoc
users bring down on their systems.
Forty percent of network administrators say their biggest concern is that
their users ‘fail to adhere to company security policies’, according to a
new survey by Amplitude Research, based in Bingham Farms, Mich., and
commissioned by VanDyke Software Inc., an Internet communications
software company based in Albuquerque, N.M.
Even though many network administrators and managers distrust users,
only 50 percent say they are comfortable with monitoring employee usage
of the Internet. The survey also shows that rules-based software, server
log analytics, and dedicated monitoring applications are the most widely
used solutions, with few respondents saying they use keystroke loggers.
Behind their worries over user actions, administrators ranked their top
concerns as a security breach to their network, the lack of a recovery
plan, and viruses and worms.
”The human element continues to be a primary cause for concern to
network administrators,” says Jeff P. VanDyke, president of VanDyke
Software. ”We hear about individuals who have been burned by phishing
scams, an employee who leaves his or her laptop at an airport, or
on-the-go professionals who log on to the Internet via a
less-than-secure-but-available wireless network.
”What this year’s survey responses indicate are that network
administrators and managers feel they’re comfortable with their
performance in managing technology and solutions to protect their
networks and data. It also appears that they generally have neither the
mandate from top management nor sufficient budgets to train employees in
proper security awareness and practices.”
Despite their concerns about users, worms and break-ins, when asked what
keeps them up at night, 43 percent of network administrators surveyed say
they sleep like a baby.
Survey respondents generally expressed satisfaction with the current
security at their organization in areas like desktop PCs, remote access,
and physical security. Data centers/server farms, however, scored the
highest level of satisfaction with more than 70 percent of administrators
saying they are content with its security.
In addressing their organization’s information security issues, 88
percent of network administrators say they use internal staff and
resources; 10 percent say they employ a security consultant to advise and
assist internal staff, and 2 percent say they outsource to a managed
service provider or consulting firm.
The study surveyed 335 network/systems administrators and networking