Security Experts:

Network Administrators Say 'Securing Remote Access' Is Their Top Priority

A survey of 353 network administrators entitled “What Keeps Network Administrators Up At Night,” asked the administrators to rank their top three priorities, with the results showing that 25% ranked "securing remote access" as being their top priority, while 15% said "keeping viruses definitions up to date" was a top priority.

The study, the seventh annual, commissioned by VanDyke Software and executed by Amplitude Research, presented 11 security management issues to administrators asking them to rank their “top three priorities” in order.

The results showed the following tasks as a Top 3 Priority for network administrators:

Securing Remote Access 52%
Keeping virus definitions up to date 44%
Patching Systems 36%
Monitoring Intrusions 33%
Secure file transfer 30%
Network use monitoring 28%
User awareness 26%
Password Management 16%
User Training 11%
Managing Logs 11%
Replacing non-secure protocols 11%

Network administrators were also asked, "what keeps you up at night?" A network security breach (39%) was selected most often, which represents a significant increase from 2009 (27%), followed by "your users" which was selected by 38% in 2010, and "your recovery plan (or lack thereof)" which was selected by 32%. Those who "sleep like a baby" decreased to 26% in 2010 from 36% in 2009.

"The results also indicate that those feeling they had an insufficient IT security budget were more likely to have a worry that 'keeps them up at night,' particularly in the case of worries about users and network security breaches. Only 18% 'slept like a baby' if they felt their company was not sufficiently budgeted for security needs," said Steve Birnkrant, CEO of Amplitude Research.

The 2010 study was conducted online during the second and third week of April among nationwide IT web panelists. In total, 353 surveys were completed by respondents who confirmed working as a "network or systems administrator" for their organization, with a maximum sampling margin of error of 5.2% at the 95% confidence level.

view counter