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Vulnerabilities / Threats

Network Security Threats Increasing

IT managers say mounting security risks combined with insufficient budgeting and staffing puts their organizations in danger, according to a netForensics study.

According to a study conducted by security information and event management provider netForensics, 80% of IT managers expect network-borne threats to increase throughout 2010 and 2011, and 85% see their security environment becoming more complex. But more than half said that their organization wasn't budgeting sufficiently, or recruiting enough new talent, to counter the added threats or complexity.

The study of about 100 IT managers also found changes in security staff size over the past year, with it increasing for 15% of responding organizations, decreasing for 24%, and remaining static for 54%. Going forward, 20% of organizations planned to hire more security personnel, 15% planned to downsize, and 51% expected to stay the same.

According to Dale Cline, CEO of netForensics, "with security staff [size] remaining static or decreasing, and budgets not being allocated to put security processes in place, organizations are going to face greater challenges than ever to their security posture."

The also study found that just over half of respondents stated that their organization was more secure today, versus 12 months ago. Yet 65% don't think their organization has "complete visibility" into its security posture at any given time.

Based on the survey results, "security professionals are being asked to do more with less, while at the same time, the organization is being put at a higher risk," said Tracy Hulver, executive VP of products and marketing at netForensics, in a statement.

Her recommendation is that organizations should look at using tools and technologies that can scale up their response, without adding staff or budget. Examples of such tools include "outsourcing to cloud security, deploying technologies that maximize existing security infrastructure without having to invest in new, big-budget items, [and] acquiring technology via SaaS pricing models."

Interestingly, even with the majority of organizations seeing increasing numbers of threats, but little or no increase in their security budget, 70% of respondents said they wouldn't outsource their organization's security. Then again, such a move might risk making respondents redundant.

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