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POLL REVEALS FORTUNE 500 UNPREPARED FOR CYBERATTACKS

Source: Security Wire Digest

Posted on July 22, 2002

      Digital security isn't a priority for many Fortune 500 companies, and most senior IT executives operate in a reactive mode when dealing with electronic security vulnerabilities, according to a new report by Ernst & Young. The accounting firm--itself a Fortune 500 company--polled officials at 91 of the country's largest businesses and uncovered significant gaps in corporate e-security preparedness.

      The results of the"2002 Digital Security Overview" reveal that only 21 percent of responding companies have outlined formal digital security policies supported by documented procedures and guidelines. An even smaller number--18 percent--are able to classify the deployment, monitoring and administration of security policies as "successful and complete."

      Perhaps most notable, a significant portion of the nation's largest companies haven't yet deployed risk-reducing technologies. While 63 percent of companies have installed secure e-mail--a preventative measure against devastating worms and viruses--and another 23 percent plan to do so, 14 percent admit that secure e-mail is neither in place nor planned.

      "These results aren't surprising because e-security isn't a 'people problem,'" said Mike Garcia, vice president of marketing at SecureInfo Corp. "Fortune 500 companies can't solve this issue by throwing people at it; instead, it's all about process.

      "Process means a layered approached to security up and down the organization, but IT managers aren't getting enough buy-in from senior management," he explained. "There needs to be buy-in at the highest levels, including the board of directors, to deploy e-security at every layer of the company."

      The financial services sector led in communicating security policies and procedures that are endorsed by senior executives, while the telecommunications industry scored consistently high for preparedness. The lowest overall scores were garnered by the energy industry.

      Full details can be found here.




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