Cyber Security Institute

§ Current Worries

Top 3 Worries

  • Regulations
  • Old Firewall Configurations
  • Security Awareness

§ Listening

For the best information

  • The underground
  • Audible
  • Executive Excellence
  • Music (to keep me sane)

§ Watching

For early warnings

  • 150 Security Websites
  • AP Newsfeeds
  • Vendors

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Security’s Soft Underbelly

Databases are among the most widely deployed, complex, and fastest growing technologies in corporate infrastructures.  Stocked with vast amounts of business-critical, sensitive records, theyre now the focal point in highly-damaging data breaches.  Yet, as businesses rush to provide real-time information flow inside and outside their organizations, database security remains one of the least understood and most under-funded aspects of corporate security—and IT is yelling for help.

We queried 649 highly experienced IT professionals, more than 70 percent of which are responsible for managing all or part of their organizations IT budget—a solid barometer for corporate priorities.

Of the 2007 total corporate IT budget, respondents said they have allocated 34 percent for database infrastructure and 20.6 percent for IT security overall.

More than 53 percent believe their databases are critical to their businesses.  But only 15 percent said that extending security best practices to the database is a “critical priority” for 2007.

Higher priorities included upgrading applications (25 percent), improving the efficiency of IT (20 percent), and consolidating IT infrastructure (19 percent).  Upgrading security overall (13 percent) finished slightly lower, as did supporting Sarbanes-Oxley (10 percent) and upgrading disaster recovery capabilities (9 percent).

Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents are seeking a better tool to help them identify and analyze risk factors that exist within their systems or IT infrastructure.

This makes sense, particularly as a majority of respondents plan no, or only slight, increases in IT staff in 2007.  According to our study results, IT security practitioners are fairly confident they can stop hackers from compromising their systems (68 percent), but they are far less certain that they can prevent malicious insiders (43 percent) and negligence (45 percent).

Respondents in larger organizations are more confident than those in smaller-sized companies when it comes to their ability to control these threats.  Respondents’ database environments are of substantial scale and complexity—a majority of respondents manage more than 500 databases.

Robust access controls, ease of integration, and the ability to identify unauthorized access are viewed as the three most important features.

Posted on 06/06