Survey Looks At Gaps In Web Security

Purewire Inc., a Web security SaaS vendor, recently announced end-user survey results illustrating severe vulnerabilities to corporate networks due to malware-infected Web applications, remote workers and shrinking IT budgets.

The full results of the survey are available from Purewire at http://www.purewire.com/lp/osterman.

The survey, prepared by Osterman Research, includes key findings such as:

  • IT security professionals rate the Web as the number one entry point for malware into their networks.
  • Even so, nearly 40 percent of companies cannot successfully prevent users from installing Web applications, leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of attacks.
  • Web attacks are a clear and present danger: 20 percent of survey respondents work remotely at least part of the time. Of those remote workers infected with malware, nearly half of the infections came from the Web.
  • A user visiting infected Web sites is the most significant single threat vector.
  • More than 90 percent of those surveyed report that they will not see a budget increase for 2009, despite the increase in threats and vulnerabilities.
  • More than 70 percent of survey respondents use SaaS-based solutions for anti-virus and anti-spam, and 25 percent have implemented Web security as a service, indicating a clear shift toward SaaS-based security solutions.

“Current economic conditions underscore the need for organizations to reallocate budgets in a way to save money and still ensure their assets are safe,” said Mike Van Bruinisse, co-founder, president and chief operating officer at Purewire. “This survey shows significant gaps in overall network security, yet an overwhelming majority of IT security professionals report that they will not see a budget increase for 2009. We believe SaaS offerings address this concern by keeping threats out of the network, providing instant access to security updates, having low maintenance requirements, and offering predictable pricing with cost savings of up to 40 percent. That is important for businesses in today’s economy.”

Osterman Research conducted the survey of Web and messaging security professionals, eliciting 139 responses. The sample represents a strong cross-section of companies ranging in sizes and vertical markets, with an average of more than 15,000 employees accessing the Internet.

“URL filtering is an important component of any Web security platform, but with a new domain name created every second, IT security professionals should look beyond traditional filters,” said Mike Osterman, president of Osterman Research. “Malware-infected Web applications pose a serious threat to the corporate network since streaming applications bypass anti-virus engines and URL filters cannot scan and classify browser-based objects. Additionally, SaaS-based Web security solutions offer double the benefits of being highly effective against the latest generation of Web threats, while offering low up-front costs and predictable pricing.”

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