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Report: Top Internal Threats of 2008

Security Company, a technology leader in clientless solutions to enforce the security, compliance and integrity of endpoints and servers, announced today its findings from security audits of more than 100,000 corporate endpoints. These audits were conducted in the first six months of 2008 in enterprises of different sizes and revealed that not even one organization was completely clean from internal threats, and the minimum number of threats found was three.

In today’s world, more and more customer data is being found on servers, desktops and laptops which contain critical information that can promote a company’s growth or destroy it in an instant. Furthermore, the risk extends beyond the private sector to the public sector and anyone in their homes receiving services from one of these infrastructure entities.

Security Company’s security audits were done across a number of industries, including finance, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, etc. and found that:

* Use of unauthorized removable storage continues to rise in organizations.
* The number of endpoints that do not apply threat management agents or are not updated with the latest build or signatures continues to rise.
* Instances of unauthorized instant messaging continue to increase in all organizations.

Security Company discovered that 12% of infected computers had a missing or disabled anti-virus program, 10.7% had unauthorized personal storage like USB sticks or external hard drives, 9.1% had unauthorized peer-to-peer (P2P) applications installed, 8.5% had a missing 3rd party desktop agent, 2.6% had unprotected shared folders, 2.2% had unauthorized remote control software, and 2% had missing Microsoft service packs.

One of the most alarming findings of the audit was how rapidly these internal security threats have increased over the past year. Compared to a similar study Security Company conducted in 2007, Security Company found that in the first half of 2008, the percentage of infected computers with unauthorized remote control software had increased by more than 200-fold, those without a working anti-virus program had increased 12-fold, and the number with unauthorized storage had increased by 10-fold. Other threats had increased by anywhere from two to eight times as many when compared to the previous year.

“Despite millions of dollars invested in security technology and millions more in personnel costs, we did not find a single company that had a completely clean bill of health from a risk and security perspective,” said Security Company. “Internal threats are the biggest risk area to a company’s security, and the threats we found are ones that are easily remediated. However, the lack of visibility into the endpoints and servers within an enterprise makes it difficult for IT administrators to fix the problems.”


 

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