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Lowest Percentage Ever "Sleep Like a Baby" in Findings from 8th Annual "What Keeps Network Administrators Up At Night" Survey

Concerns about network security breaches and users respectively are at an all-time high in survey's history

BOCA RATON, FL and ALBUQUERQUE, NM — May 3, 2011 — According to findings from the 8th annual "What Keeps Network Administrators Up At Night" survey commissioned by VanDyke Software® and executed by Amplitude Research®, increased complexities such as the use of social media and smartphones by employees are keeping network and systems administrators at enterprises busy — although more than half feel sufficiently budgeted and/or staffed to support current information security needs.

The proportion of network administrators "sleeping like a baby" reached a new low in 2011.  When network administrators were asked, "What keeps you up at night?" 41% selected a "security breach to your network."  When the same question was asked in each of seven prior years, between 27% and 39% had indicated that worries about a security breach to their network was "keeping them up at night."  Meanwhile, according to the 2011 survey findings, "users" were keeping 40% of network administrators awake at night.  In seven prior years, between 28% and 38% had selected "your users" when asked "What keeps you up at night?"

Smartphones and Social Media are Added Complexities to Manage

Approximately four-in-ten (42%) network administrators considered managing the security of employee smartphones to be "very important" or "extremely important" as compared to other security threats facing their organization.  Only about half (49%) of network administrators were satisfied with the security of handheld devices (e.g., Palm, Blackberry) at their organization — down significantly from 57% in 2010.

Approximately four-in-ten (42%) were "moderately concerned" to "extremely concerned" about the security threat associated with employee use of social media.  The proportion "moderately concerned" to "extremely concerned" was similar in 2010 (40%).  When network administrators were asked to explain in their own words what concerns them most about employee use of social media at their organization, the most common themes were viruses (19%), data / information leaks (19%), intrusion risk (19%), users not being careful (9%), Trojan horses / other malware (9%), and concerns about risks to privacy / user information (6%).  In addition to concerns related to security, 21% complained about employees wasting time on social media instead of being productive at work.

Cloud Computing Adoption on the Rise

The adoption of cloud computing rose significantly in 2011 — 22% compared to 15% in 2010.  Among those who have not already adopted cloud computing, many are currently considering it.  In fact, those who have not adopted and are not considering cloud computing are in the minority, with the proportion in this group declining significantly from 38% in 2010 to 27% in 2011.  However, survey findings showed that less than half of those who have adopted cloud computing rated it "very secure."  An even smaller proportion of those who have not yet adopted cloud computing consider it "very secure."  The findings signaled there is room to increase the proportion willing to consider cloud computing very secure, even though network administrators often consider cloud computing to be "somewhat" secure.

IT Security Budgets and Staffing Often Viewed as Adequate to Meet Needs

The proportion seeing any decrease in their IT security budget went from 33% in 2009 to 20% in 2010 to 15% in 2011.  In contrast, the proportion seeing any increase in their IT security budget went from 15% in 2009 to 30% in 2010 to 34% in 2011.  Thus, as of 2011, 34% are seeing an increase vs. 15% who are seeing a decrease in their IT security budget.

The proportion feeling their organization has budgeted sufficiently to support current information security needs was 58% in the 2011 survey.  At the same time, though, 63% felt their organization is sufficiently staffed to support current information security needs.

Moreover, the proportion seeing an increase in the size of their IT security staff for 2011 was similar to the proportion seeing a decrease in the size of their IT security staff (15% vs. 14%, respectively).

Possible Link Between Government Spending and Enterprise IT Security Budgets

Current spending patterns by state and local governments appear to have impacted some organizations, with those who noticed reduced spending more likely to report reductions in IT security staffing, overall IT budgets, and IT security budgets than those not reporting reduced spending by state and local governments.

Approximately one-fourth (26%) of the respondents indicated that they are seeing less spending by state and local governments in areas directly related to their company's business operations, while only 15% were seeing more spending.  Twenty percent of those who noticed reduced spending by state / local governments were also seeing a decrease in the size of their IT security staff.  This was significantly higher than the 11% of all other respondents who were seeing a decrease in IT security staff.

About the Survey Methodology

Amplitude Research® administered the 2011 study online during early April among IT panelists nationwide.  In total, 364 surveys were completed by respondents who confirmed working as a “network or systems administrator” for their company / organization, with a “maximum sampling margin of error” of +/- 5.1 percentage points.

To obtain an executive summary of the 2011 survey results, contact Michael Krems of Krems Public Relations at

About Amplitude Research, Inc.

Amplitude Research® is a leading market research firm headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida specializing in b2b and technology market research studies.  Amplitude specializes in full-service survey research including study design, questionnaire writing, data collection, sampling, and data analysis / report writing.  For more information about Amplitude Research, visit the company's website at

About VanDyke Software, Inc.

Busy IT professionals depend on VanDyke Software® to deliver rock-solid, easy-to-configure software for secure remote access, secure file transfer, terminal emulation, and remote administration.  VanDyke offers a fully-supported 30-day evaluation of its products prior to purchase, providing both evaluators and customers with a higher level of service.  The company's product offerings include the SecureCRT® Secure Shell terminal emulator, the SecureFX® secure file transfer client, the VanDyke ClientPack, and the VShell® Secure Shell server.  For more information about VanDyke Software, visit the company's website at

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