June 16, 2005, 12:00 AM

Worms and viruses and hackers, oh my

A Gartner survey ranks IT managers’ concerns about online security threats. Half the survey respondents say they increased spending on security measures this year and expect to boost spending again in 2006.

 

Worms and viruses are ranked the biggest online security threat by IT managers polled by Gartner Inc. in a new survey. On a scale of 1 to 10 in which a rating of 10 indicated extreme concern, survey respondents gave viruses and worms a 7.6, the highest rating they assigned to any of 12 IT security threats.

Outsiders hacking in was perceived as the second highest-ranking security threat in the survey, trailed by identity theft and phishing, spyware, and denial of service. Spam, wireless viruses, insider threats, and social engineering were ranked next among concerns about IT security threats. Cyber-terrorism was the lowest-ranking of the 12 threats on which respondents were queried.

Half the survey respondents reported increasing spending on IT security measures this year and expected to increase spending again in 2006. 70% rated systems and processes now in place at their organizations more secure than they were last year, because of better security controls implemented since then. Firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and anti-virus protection were the top spending priorities in reported efforts to improve IT security. Respondents also reported spending on improving user authentication, remote access, identity management and spam filtering and web site filtering and blocking, among other measures, to improve IT security.

The survey included responses from 133 North American companies with global operations and revenues exceeding $750 million.

 

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