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5th Annual Enterprise Security Survey Indicates That While Economy Sputters In 2008, Most IT Budgets Are Holding Steady And Even Increasing Slightly

  • 81% of the survey respondents did not expect a decrease in IT budget for 2008 as compared to the budget in 2007, with 29% indicating an increase in budget by less than 10%, and almost 15% noting their budget will increase by more than 10%
  • One third of enterprise network and systems administrators said they are aware of their company stopping/postponing/canceling IT security endeavors/projects as a result of a perceived poor economy, with almost 21% of that one-third saying the cut would represent 10 to 20% of the overall IT budget planned for 2008, and 20% of that one-third expecting a 21 to 31% cut
  • 47% of the network administrator survey respondents said that they don’t believe who is President of the United States impacts their job security, with 25% saying a Democrat, and 16% stating a Republican, in the White House would bolster their job security

BOCA RATON, FL and ALBUQUERQUE, NM, April 22, 2008/PRNewswire/ — In the 5th annual “What Keeps Network Administrators Up At Night” survey commissioned by VanDyke Software and executed by independent firm Amplitude Research, findings showed that in the last two years while a solid majority (64% and 63%) of network administrators said their enterprises budgeted sufficiently to support current information security needs, only 24% in this year’s survey answered they “sleep like a baby at night” compared to 33% in 2007.

What Network Administrators Are Increasingly Focusing On In IT Security

In last year’s study, when survey respondents were asked to rank a list of 11 security management issues facing their company, “secure file transfer” showed the most significant increase in the percentage of respondents ranking it as one of the three top issues in 2007 (31%) compared to 2006 (13%). This year, for 2008, 33% of the 300 survey respondents selected “secure file transfer” as one of the most important security management issues, a 2% gain over last year’s figure.

Among those using secure file transfer (externally or internally), the proportion indicating that their organization’s security policy identifies what “sensitive data” should be exchanged using a secure method of file transfer has been trending upward—from 60% in 2006 to 73% in 2007 to 80% in 2008. In addition, among those using a secure method of file transfer at least “sometimes” for exchanging sensitive data internally between remote offices, the proportion saying they “mostly” or “always” use a secure method for internal file transfers of sensitive data increased significantly in 2008 (63%) compared to 2007 (54%) and 2006 (42%).

Among the 80% who said they consider transferring sensitive/confidential files integral to their enterprise’s business, more than half in 2008 (54%) said their organization was “somewhat likely” to purchase a new or replacement secure file transfer solution with the next 12 months. Another 22% were “very likely” and 6% were “extremely likely”. In total, more than eight-in-ten of the survey responders who consider transferring sensitive/confidential files integral to their business said that their organization was at least “somewhat likely” to purchase a new or replacement secure file transfer solution with the next 12 months.

In the annual survey, network administrators have been asked to select the three most important security management issues facing their company from a list of 11 areas, with some “hot priorities” dropping while other lesser priorities gaining in importance for network administrators. Here is a list of the 11, with this year’s survey response tallies compared to last year’s:

  • Securing remote access (50% up from the previous year’s 47%);
  • Keeping virus definitions up to date (42% compared to last year’s 45%);
  • Monitoring intrusions (40%, same as last year);
  • Secure file transfer (33% versus last year’s 31%);
  • Patching systems (30% in 2008 compared to last year’s 42%);
  • Password management (27% versus last year’s 20%);
  • Network use monitoring (21% versus last year’s 22%);
  • User awareness (19% this year, similar to 20% in 2007);
  • User training (14%, same as last year);
  • Managing logs (12% compared to last year’s 8%);
  • Replacing nonsecure protocols (11% compared to last year’s 8%).

Use of Secure Shell Remote Access Continues Upward Trend

In 2004, 43% of the respondents to the VanDyke-commissioned survey had said that their organization was using Secure Shell for remote access, and in 2005 the percentage climbed to 48%; in 2006, 56% indicated using Secure Shell, and in 2007 the percentage jumped an additional 10% to 66%. The upward trend continues in 2008, with an increase to 68%. However, this year’s study indicates increasing openness to purchasing new and/or replacement Secure Shell solutions with over three-quarters of Secure Shell users indicating that their organization was at least “somewhat likely” to purchase a new and/or replacement solution within the next 12 months. Of this group, 26% were “very likely” to make such a purchase (compared to 15% in 2007), and 4% “extremely likely” in 2008. Only 23% were “not at all likely”, compared with 50% the previous year.

“As the marketplace increasingly implements Secure Shell technology, there seems to be a rise in expectations for performance,” said Jeff P. Van Dyke, president and founder of VanDyke Software. “And, as the survey findings reflect, we are seeing a significant number of network administrators interested in purchasing a new and/or replacement Secure Shell solution. As network administrators assess their Secure Shell options in the marketplace and test drive VanDyke’s solution, we stand to benefit from this trend.”

Moving to IPv6 Reaches New Heights

IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is the latest level of the Internet Protocol and is now included as part of IP support in many products including the major computer operating systems. About one-fifth (21%) of the survey respondents said that they have moved to IPv6 either in the past 12 months or more than 12 months ago; in 2007 only 10% had reported already moving to IPv6. Also, 26% in 2007 had planned to move to IPV6 in the next 12 months, compared with 36% in 2008.

Automated Patch Management Decreases as a Priority

Among the list of 11 most important security management issues that survey respondents have been asked about, automated patch management has declined in its importance as a top-three security management issue for network administrators, dropping from 59% in 2006 to 42% in 2007, to 30% in 2008. At the same time, more than three-fourths (78%) reported using an automated patch management tool. “The likely takeaway concerning the decrease in automated patch management as a priority security management issue is that automated patch management solutions are basically working,” said Steve Birnkrant, CEO and founder of Amplitude Research.

The 2008 study was conducted by Amplitude Research over the period April 3 to April 8, 2008 among a nationwide web panel and had 300 total survey respondents, with a +/-5.7% margin of sampling error at the 95% confidence level. To obtain an executive summary of the 2008 survey of network and system administrators commissioned by VanDyke Software, contact Michael Krems of Krems Public Relations at KremsPR can also be contacted by media looking for further comments/analysis on the survey from Steve Birnkrant, CEO of Amplitude Research, Inc. or Jeff P. Van Dyke, President and founder of VanDyke Software.


Amplitude Research® ( is a privately owned survey research organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, with blue chip clients located throughout the United States and Canada. Amplitude combines its proprietary survey platform, experienced professional services, and top-quality sample to deliver actionable survey results. The name “Amplitude” Research and its tagline “loud and clear” signify Amplitude‘s high-quality statistical and reporting services tailored to meet each client's specific needs.

Amplitude’s IT panel ( was formed in early 2002 and consists of five distinct segments: (i) C level or higher IT professionals including CTOs, CIOs, and MIS managers; (ii) developers, software engineers, programmers, database administrators, and security experts; (iii) systems administrators, network administrators, and networking managers; (iv) business executives at smaller size technology companies such as CEOs, CFOs, and senior managers; and (v) other IT professionals such as project managers, technical support specialists, and intranet managers.

All surveys are programmed and hosted by Amplitude Research® using its powerful, multi-language platform supporting a myriad of question types and features including advanced skip logic, branching, piping, rotating ads, randomized response choices, image testing, respondent timers, interactive maps, variable inserts, and 2,000 character text boxes.


VanDyke Software® ( is a privately held software company located in Albuquerque, NM, with more than 1,000,000 registered users in over 100 countries worldwide. VanDyke sells its secure access and terminal emulation software using a try-before-you-buy model with online purchase, delivery, and licensing. IT professionals who are responsible for network administration and end-user access where security is critical rely on VanDyke Software's rock solid and easy to configure software.

The company's product offerings include the SecureCRT® Secure Shell terminal emulator, the SecureFX® secure file transfer client, and the CRT™ terminal emulator. VanDyke’s VShell® Secure Shell server is a secure alternative to Telnet and FTP on Windows and UNIX platforms.

VanDyke's easy-to-use software and accurate, responsive customer support have a daily impact on its customers’ businesses. VanDyke's objectives are to make Secure Shell-based solutions easier to use and address its customers’ evolving needs with timely product enhancements. In doing so, VanDyke solutions help lower the complexity and cost of integrating security into remote access, file transfer, and data communications.

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