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Employees revealed as greatest challenge to IT security, says SecureData

40% of IT professionals view Operations teams as the biggest risk to security, above malware and external threats

10 January 2014, Maidstone, Kent: SecureData, the complete security service provider, today revealed that 60% of IT professionals view employee carelessness as the biggest risk to an organisation's security, well above the usual suspects like data theft (13%), external malware (10%) or technology failure (7%).

The findings are based on responses from 110 IT professionals, half of whom are in major organisations with over 5,000 employees. While 40% of respondents viewed Operations teams as the greatest risk to security, Finance teams were also seen as a significant worry (13%). Interestingly, at a time when cloud security is being hotly debated, no one cited this as a primary security concern.

While IT professionals have been quick to spot the risks posed by non security conscious employees, agreement on how to tackle the challenge is less certain. 40% of respondents felt that educating employees was the most important step to improving security, but 25% added that implementing a clear security management policy was their weakest area. Meanwhile, almost half (44%) of those questioned said that the ultimate responsibility for security decision-making is left in the hands of more junior IT managers, rather than C-level staff (44%) or department heads (12%).

Commenting on the findings, SecureData's CEO Etienne Greeff said: "There's a huge opportunity here for organisations to tighten security simply by better educating their staff. Don't leap to technical answers and complex solutions. This is not about budget-busting new technologies, but going back to basics: plan and deliver a simple, straightforward security policy that employees can easily follow."

50% of respondents see a holistic approach to security as crucial to meeting the security challenge, with 36% stating that detecting threats quickly is the weakest area of their current approach.

Greeff concludes: "It's encouraging to see so many recognising the importance of a holistic approach to security. Assessing risk, detecting threats earlier, protecting valuable assets and responding quickly when there is a breach will help restore trust in colleagues across an organisation. But this leadership must come from the top, with the C-level stepping up to tackle the security knowledge gap in their organisations."

-ENDS-

About SecureData
SecureData is a complete security service provider with a proactive approach. We minimise business disruption for our clients and offer the complete security spectrum from assessing risk to detecting threats, protecting valuable assets and responding to breaches when the happen.

We specialise in providing managed services that help businesses secure their data and networks, fight an increasing array of cyber threats, optimise networks to improve employee mobility, ensure regulatory compliance and allow the safe adoption of both cloud computing and consumer technologies in the workplace.

Operating from its UK based Security Operations Centre; the company offers manned support on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis, with its own unique real-time monitoring service developed in-house and tailored to suit both small businesses and large corporate enterprises alike.

Notes to Editors
1. This research was conducted in November 2013 as a live poll at SecureData's Security Focuses 2013 event, questioning 110 IT professionals in enterprises of all sizes
2. For interview requests or to see the full report, please contact Olie Mitchell (olie@hitfirstbase.com / 0203 542 6644).

Source: RealWire

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