Feeds

European firms open to security attacks: McAfee

But at least the board is paying attention

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A large number of European businesses are failing to protect themselves from security vulnerabilities, a new study has revealed.

According to security firm McAfee, close to half of those involved in the study believe that their IT infrastructure is never completely protected from software and network vulnerabilities.

Businesses are leaving themselves open to attack unnecessarily. Some 27 per cent of those questioned reported that it took 48 hours or more from the time a patch was issued to the IT infrastructure being fully protected from that vulnerability. Almost one in five said this process took up to a week or more.

This delay could prove critical for businesses, who risk security breaches, mass outages, loss of productivity and the loss of customer confidence. Finding information on the patches is also eating into company time, with one in five IT professionals spending an hour or more a day researching vulnerabilities and patches. However, despite the research, some 45 per cent said they do not prioritise which areas of the business are patched first.

More than a third of businesses also admitted that they had no idea how many patches they applied to their business over a six-month period, while 58 per cent said they had no idea how much deployment of such patches cost the business.

"The feedback from large businesses is clear - patch management is a serious concern for them," said John Parker, product line director for intrusion prevention, McAfee EMEA.

"Organisations are vulnerable to IT attacks because security patches are issued too frequently for businesses to safely test and deploy throughout the organisation in a timely fashion. The only solution to mitigate the risk from this and give executives piece of mind when it comes to the security of their business is to combine a prioritised patch management process with proactive intrusion prevention solutions."

The survey took in more than 600 senior IT decision makers at companies with over 250 employees across Europe.

However, Cisco Systems paints a slightly better picture of the security market. Its research claims that 72 per cent of security professionals feel that their organisation is more secure than it was 12 months ago.

Its survey found that less than a quarter of respondents felt that security is still not recognised as a board room level issue. Only 11 per cent of respondents are taking a 'reactive only' approach to security, while more businesses appear to be putting contingency plans in place to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster. The majority of respondents to the survey - 96 per cent - have contingency plans in place for power failure, while 95 per cent have plans in place for fire. Loss of data (93 pe rcent), physical access to buildings (86 per cent) and flooding (80 per cent) are also covered.

"It is very encouraging to see that, despite ongoing reports of new threats and breaches, businesses across all sectors are feeling better protected," comments Paul King, senior security advisor at Cisco Systems. "The security industry is clearly making progress and moving forward."

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.