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Enterprises Wrestle With Security Policies

Corporate security policies often are not enforced, according to newly-published survey by RSA and Forrester

What keeps security administrators awake at night? You'd think it would be the latest attack, or a newly-discovered vulnerability in their systems. But according to a newly-published report by Forrester Research and RSA Security, creating a security policy is still the biggest nightmare for most CSOs.

Sixty-two percent of respondents consider the enforcement of existing company policies to be their most pressing driver in ensuring that data is properly secured. However, controlling the rising costs of ongoing compliance with those policies is becoming a burden, and thirty-three percent of the respondents -- the majority response to this question -- said compliance costs are too high.

Security policy issues have been around for years -- and that's part of the problem. Fifty-five percent of respondents have data security policies that are either outdated or require significant changes to bring them in line with regulatory and company mandates, the study says.

Some companies are happy with their policies -- but they still haven't found a way to be sure they are followed. Twenty-seven percent of respondents say their existing policies are "rarely enforced," according to the report.

Encryption is at the top of the policy problem list. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed either do not have an encryption policy or strategy at all, or consider their strategy to be incomplete because it only covers data at rest or data in transit, but not both.

The biggest challenge in encryption is key management, respondents said. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said their organizations still use manual processes for key management, and a majority of respondents said operational issues related to key management have had a substantive impact on their business.

Some of the other key findings:

  • Fifty-two percent of respondents listed data classification as a top priority; however, thirty-seven percent of respondents do not actually have a data classification policy.

  • Sixty-two percent of respondents intend to increase their encryption deployments. Sixty-five percent plan to increase their overall spending on encryption.

  • Fifty-two percent of respondents intend to increase spending on information leak prevention technology.

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  • Forrester Research Inc.
  • RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: EMC)
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