IT directors fear insider threats

There is rising concern among IT directors that the biggest threat to their organisations lies with internal hazards, according to Secure Computing Corporation.

The enterprise gateway security company found that over 80 per cent of 103 IT directors surveyed prioritised insider threats, such as data leakage or theft.

This acts as a stark contrast to the 17 per cent of respondents who believe that external threats from hackers are a more serious proposition.

According to Secure Computing, the emphasis of concern on internal risks can be attributed to the 37 per cent of respondents who have experienced the leakage of sensitive data firsthand.

The survey found that 37 per cent of directors believed that email is the current biggest security risk, while 25 per cent felt that voice over IP was a bigger threat than web surfing, which only 21 per cent of respondents felt to be the biggest threat.

A further 79 per cent of respondents felt that they could be better prepared for web-borne threats, with 31 per cent of IT directors finding viruses their biggest challenge.

Secure Computing also found that the majority IT directors (35 per cent) prioritised budgets on strengthening internal security.

Regional Sales Director for the UK, Ireland, South Africa and Israel at Secure Computing, Kieran Lees said that the survey showed that perceptions on IT threats were evolving.

"It's fascinating to see how perceptions of the threat landscape among senior IT decision makers is evolving, with the insider threat and data leakage rivaling traditional external threats among IT directors' primary concerns," Lees said.

"It's also very encouraging to see that security is starting to be seen as a genuine business enabler rather than just a necessary evil."