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Security barometer survey - the results are in

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Reg Reader Studies The results of last month's Security barometer survey have been collected, perused and compiled and are now available to all interested readers in a handy PDF format.

Thanks very much to all those who participated - your input enabled us to draw some interesting conclusions about the psychology of security, which we summarise as follows:

Perhaps understandably, companies who have suffered some form of attack in the past are highly aware of the risk of a similar attack, while newer threats - such as spyware - are incorrectly not judged as high risk.

At the same time, nearly three times as many respondents had experienced unscheduled downtime due to software or hardware failure, compared to downtime due to security issues. While security issues remain important, there is a tendency to overhype them.

Nonetheless, more than half of respondents considered that they wasted a day or so every month dealing with security issues. Over 10 per cent of those surveyed said they had suffered some kind of security attack in the last three months. Obviously, there is a cost implication to this.

Overall, and as might be expected, larger companies are more likely to have implemented security policies than smaller ones. Those who have no policy in place see fewer problems – they are unaware when a passive or benign virus is present and they do not perceive the denial of service attack as being anything other than the internet running slowly.

Those with fully implemented policies see more – and react more – even to threats which are not likely to be of high importance.

Those with partially implemented policies are in the worst situation psychologically – they can see a lot more than they could before they started implementing a policy, but have only a partial means of dealing with the threat.

That's the summary. The full report is available here, with a supplementary slideset available here (both PDF).

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