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Data Center Managers Facing a False Sense of Security, Says Report

Data Center Security Survey Highlights Discrepancy Between Data Center Security Perceptions and Reality

Today McAfee released the results of a sweeping survey into data center security – and the picture is not all that pretty.

Data Center Security Survey Highlights Discrepancy Between Data Center Security Perceptions and Reality

Today McAfee released the results of a sweeping survey into data center security – and the picture is not all that pretty.

In the 2011 Data Center Security Survey, conducted by the Gabriel Consulting Group, enterprise IT managers revealed just how much security remains a challenge for data centers throughout the world. According to the survey, 60 percent of the 147 data center managers who participated said management believes security is stronger than it actually is. Meanwhile, just 22 percent reported management was aware of their company’s true security preparedness. Both statistics, the report’s authors contend, are indicative of poor communication between IT staffers and management.

McAfee Datacenter Security Survey“It’s astounding that almost two-thirds of our respondents say that their management is in the dark about their true security status,” said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, in a statement. “This is something that should cause a lot of thought both in the executive suite and in the data center. Management needs to seek out the truth when it comes to IT security, and data center management needs to be frank and honest when discussing the strengths and weaknesses of their security mechanisms. Obviously, it’s far better to discuss potential security issues before they’re exposed by a breach.”

Forty-two percent of respondents said their security isn’t keeping up with the number of threats, though 44 percent declared their security was doing a good job. When it comes to cloud computing, the takeaway appears to be that companies are more comfortable with the security of private clouds than they are public clouds. According to the survey, roughly 60 percent felt that security was not a major inhibitor to private cloud adoption. When it came to public clouds however, that sentiment was reversed – approximately 70 percent said security concerns were keeping them utilizing public cloud.

Companies were equally split in regards to their readiness for widespread cloud computing, with roughly 40 percent of respondents saying they were ready from a security standpoint and approximately 40 percent saying they weren’t.

“The move to virtualized data center requires organizations to consider their approach to security early in the design cycle,” said Greg Brown, vice president of Network Security at McAfee, in a statement. “Using network and system security solutions that are optimized for virtualized environments ensures continuity of data center operations, without interfering with performance.”

The full report is available here as a PDF download.

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