March 07, 2001, 1:29 PM — A major security breach within a company is the single greatest catalyst for effecting increased security measures across that organization, according to the results of a recently released survey from IDC in Framingham, Mass.
Other big drivers of increased security measures include the growth in Internet usage and the trend toward mobile computing, according to IDC.
A majority of the 1,000 companies that responded to the survey identified viruses as the most common security problem, with 90% saying they had been hit by a virus. The other most common security problem was unauthorized use of system resources and data.
The adoption of security technologies has increased across companies of all sizes, according to Charles Kolodgy, an IDC analyst and an author of the report.
But larger companies -- those with more than 1,000 employees -- tend to be more aggressive in their adoption of security than smaller companies are, he said.
"The need to extend business networks to customers, partners and remote access users is driving a lot of companies to improve their security positions," said Kolodgy.
The most commonly used security technology is antivirus software, with almost 95% of companies surveyed saying they use it. Other commonly used technologies include hardware firewalls and intrusion-detection systems.
Among the most aggressive adopters of security technologies are companies in the banking, financial services, health care and communications industries, IDC said.
The fact that it still takes a major breach to trigger security improvements indicates the low priority that some companies give to security, said Ira Winkler, president of Internet Security Advisors Group in Severna Park, Md.
Many start-ups and small companies tend to neglect security because it "doesn't directly contribute to the bottom line," Winkler said.