Here are the highlights from our Survey on Security Policies in the Workplace. This survey, which drew 174 responses,...
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ran for the month of February.
We were surprised to learn that more than half of the respondents said they either do not have a security policy or that they are currently trying to figure out how to create one. We also thought it interesting to note that some companies do not even have a security budget at this time.
You'll also see below the breakout of the biggest security challenges. Topping the list are remote security, e-mail and viruses. The hardest part of security policies to enforce: End user awareness (which curbs stupid user tricks), passwords and e-mail.
Some demographic data that we didn't expect: Not many respondents have "security" in their job titles. Most were IT managers/directors and network/systems administrators. Also, when asked how long they had been in the security field, more than 50% said less than three years.
Q: How does your company handle security policies?
-Formally, with a written plan explained to all new hires = 47.1%
-Informally/word of mouth. = 30.5%
-We are trying to understand how to create/implement one = 18.4%
-We have no plans to create a security policy = 4%
Q: Rate how effective you think your written security policy is:
-Very Effective = 9.3%
-Effective = 16.9%
-Somewhat effective = 37.8%
-Not at all effective = 7.6%
-Not applicable = 28.5%
Q: Rate how effective you think your informal policy is:
-Very Effective = 2.9%
-Effective = 20.1%
-Somewhat effective = 47.7%
-Not at all effective = 12.1%
-Not applicable = 17.2%
Q: If you have a formal policy, how often is it updated?
-Monthly = 12.4%
-Annually = 28.8%
-Every few years = 15.3%
-Never = 7.1%
-Not applicable = 36.5%
Q: How often do you check for policy compliance?
-Daily = 6.9%
-Weekly = 7.5%
-Monthly = 21.8%
-Annually = 17.8%
-Never = 17.2%
-Not applicable = 28.7%
Q: What are your company's biggest security challenges? (multiple responses allowed)
-Remote security (VPNs, notebooks, PDAs, firewalls, e-mail) = 71.3%
-E-mail security = 69.4%
-Viruses/malicious code/DDoS = 64.9%
-Intrusion detection = 56.3%
-Stupid user tricks/human error = 52.9%
Q: What part of your security policy is the hardest to enforce? (open response compiled into a top five)
-Human error/stupid user mistakes
-E-mail viruses/attachments/virus awareness
-Enforcing the security policy
-Personal use of computers