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Survey: Hacker Attacks Scariest Threat of All

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-10-16 Print this article Print

A new security survey reveals that the majority of IT pros are most afraid of hacker attacks, and find firewall maintenance their most time-consuming task.

In a survey of IT security professionals attending the RSA Conference, one-third of respondents cited uncovering identity management as their biggest organizational concern.

While 29 percent of respondents ranked e-mail viruses as their most significant threat, 68 percent listed Web viruses, suggesting that Web viruses pose more of a threat than e-mail-born ones.

Paul Davis, a Boston-based IT security strategist, agrees that Web viruses should be considered a more pressing IT concern, noting the while most companies have good virus protection, they don't have adequate controls on the user's Web surfing habits.

"Add to that challenge of the increasing trend of providing their users with laptops. It doesn't take much to imagine a user taking the laptop home and surfing using their own ISP, thus bypassing all of the normal corporate connections," Davis said.

"This means that one layer of defense has been removed and now the corporation/business has to rely solely on the local workstation defense that hopefully is up to date and switched on."

Survey respondents called configuring firewalls their IT department's single most time-consuming task, accounting for over three hours work per week for half of all IT pros, a number Davis said could be high or low, depending on an organization's needs.

"This is not the type of tool that you can just leave in the back of the server room. I have worked with some organizations that actively used their firewall to block attacks; others had such a dynamic business model that configuration changes were made on a daily basis," Davis said.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Survey: Hacker Attacks Scariest Threat of All.

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