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Risk

12/8/2008
11:44 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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When It Comes To Database Security: Enterprises Seem Confused

This October, research firm Enterprise Strategy Group surveyed 179 North American businesses with 1,000-plus employees about their database security efforts. The survey results (published today) reveal the bifurcated nature and the scary state of database security.

This October, research firm Enterprise Strategy Group surveyed 179 North American businesses with 1,000-plus employees about their database security efforts. The survey results (published today) reveal the bifurcated nature and the scary state of database security.While this survey has a limited sampling of 179 companies, and was funded by a security vendor, the results are nonetheless frightening. And it is scary not because it seems security managers still lack adequate budget, manpower, and executive leadership to keep systems secure. That's always been the sad state of IT security at many companies.

And it's neither that the survey found most companies hold just about everyone "responsible" for database security. It's true. When asked in the survey what teams are responsible for database security, security admins came in highest at 66%. Then the IT operations group (60%), data center managers (58%), system administrators (57%), network administrators (49%), and DBAs (42%).

Now, all of these groups have a role to play in database security, for sure. But they all can't be "responsible" for it. The buck has to stop somewhere.

It wasn't even that disarray that was scariest. No. The headline in this survey is that 84% of the respondents believe that all to most of their company's confidential data is adequately protected. But this very same sample of survey respondents reported that they either had one confidential data breach (41%) or multiple confidential data breaches (8%).

So there you have it -- nearly 50% of respondents suffered a significant breach, yet a whopping majority believe (84%) their database security is adequate.

Does this mean that a single breach of confidential data is acceptable? Or, are these companies over-estimating the health of their risk posture?

Either way you slice that, the result doesn't add up.

Here's a link to a press release that announced the survey. I wasn't able to find a link to the survey results, but will update this post should one become available.

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