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IT Execs Unprepared For Security In Downturn

Nearly 70 percent aren't sure which workers have access to sensitive applications and data, study says
IT managers are becoming worried that they can't handle the internal security challenges required of them during the economic downturn, according to a report published earlier today.

The survey conducted by SailPoint Technologies, found the majority of IT managers don't believe they have the information they need to adequately manage the risk of data breaches or internal fraud. In fact, nearly 70 percent can't summarize which workers have access to the most critical applications and data. Further, if faced with a layoff, 56 percent of respondents say they are unable to remove access privileges of terminated employees on a timely basis.

"We're in a period of high churn -- divestitures and mergers and acquisitions," says Mark McClain, CEO and founder of SailPoint. "These factors create a ripe environment for abuse of access privileges. IT departments are responsible for managing access to critical data and applications, but as that task gets more complex, they're faced with lower budgets and fewer people. That's a formula for increased risk, leaving companies vulnerable to disgruntled employees and even ex-employees who retain access after they leave."

The survey also reveals that nearly half of the companies surveyed (46 percent) have failed IT audits due to access control deficiencies in the past five years. Yet, 61 percent say their company policies and controls remain unchanged despite the economic downturn and increased risk exposure.

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