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Report: Only 58 Percent of Higher Ed IT Pros Believe Their Security Policy is Effective

Thirty-two percent of IT professionals say that data loss is their top concern, according to CDW Government's (CDW-G) "2012 Data Loss Straw Poll."

The survey, which included 151 respondents from higher education institutions, also found that a quarter of the organizations that responded have had a data breach in the last two years.

The poll featured 654 respondents, including IT professionals from businesses or nonprofits, financial services organizations, and healthcare institutions in addition to those from higher education.

Among the sectors represented, higher ed fared the worst across the board, with only 58 percent reporting that they believe their security policy is effective and only 44 percent responding that they had policies for employee-owned smartphones beyond screen locks.

The other top threats according to respondents included malicious threats at 18 percent and evolved forms of current threats at 14 percent.

Other findings of the poll include:

  • Fifty percent of respondents said they considered "customer, student, employee, or patient records/personally identifiable information" the most likely target of an attack, with credit card information coming in second at 19 percent;
  • The number of people accessing organizational networks has increased 41 percent in the last two years;
  • Sixty-eight percent of organizations reported that they allow employee-owned devices to access their networks; and
  • Among those reporting security policies that are not uniformly applied to employee- and employer-owned devices, 27 percent have no policy for employee-owned devices and 42 percent said that policies for employee-owned devices were les strict than those for employer-owned devices.

"The damage resulting from data loss--to the bottom line and to an organization's reputation--is very real," said Christine Holloway, vice president of converged infrastructure solutions, CDW. "Perhaps it should come as no surprise that IT professionals view data loss as the greatest business risk to organizations this year.  As telework and access to mobile computing grows, preventing data loss is increasingly important--and increasingly complex."

More information is available at newsroom.cdw.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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