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Findings from 3rd Annual Enterprise Security Survey Reveal Highest Level of Network and System Administrator Angst in Three-Year Period

  • More than half of the survey takers say they have no current plans to deploy Windows Vista, the next major version of Microsoft's OS
  • 8.23% say they assemble information security tools from a single-source security vendor, a decline from 9.64% in 2005 and 17.61% in 2004
  • Network and system administrator comfort level in using technology to monitor individual employee usage of internet is up from previous year

BOCA RATON, FL and ALBUQUERQUE, NM, May 16, 2006/PRNewswire/ — In the third annual VanDyke Software-commissioned survey of network/system administrators executed by independent firm Amplitude Research, survey takers are asked what “keeps them up at night”: 31% said they had no concerns and “sleep like a baby”—a 12% drop in comfort level compared to the previous year’s 43%. The 2006 finding marks a steep increase from the angst level reported the previous year, and a 3% ascent from the 2004 level.

Top Concerns: Users, Lack of Recovery Plan, Network Security Breach, Virus Worms

The top concerns of the network and system administrators were their “Users” (38%); their “Recovery Plan” or lack thereof (38%); a security breach to their network (35%); and “worrying about the next virus/worm” (24%).

• Concerns about “users” and “lack of recovery plan” gained heightened status among network and system administrators when compared to the results from last year’s study. In 2005, 28% identified each of those two issues as the top concern.

• The percentage of respondents who identified a “security breach to the network” as a top concern climbed 8% to 35% from the 27% finding in 2005.

• The number of network and system administrators (24%) who listed the next virus/worm as a top concern in the 2006 survey represented a 3% increase from the 21% level registered in 2005 and marked a steep decline from the 32% finding in 2004.

Among those respondents who identified their users as a concern that keeps them up at night, nearly 31% cited “insufficient training time or budget” as a significant contributor. This year’s level marked almost a 10% jump in concern from the 2004 level, and nearly a 3% increase from last year. While a majority of the survey respondents (52.14%) in 2005 said their organization had “budgeted sufficiently to support information security needs”, this year the number was 48.62% -- about the same level reported in 2004 (48.05%).

“Last year I observed that many network and system administrators had neither the mandate from top management nor sufficient budgets to train employees in proper security awareness and practices. Unfortunately this year’s findings demonstrate that this trend continues, with less than half expressing they have the needed resources to tackle enterprise IT challenges,” said Jeff P. Van Dyke, president and founder of VanDyke Software. “Based on this year’s results, it’s no surprise that more network and system administrators are losing sleep over security issues.”

In the three years that VanDyke Software has commissioned Amplitude Research to conduct this survey, the 31% who this year said they “have no concerns and sleep like a baby” represents the lowest percentage yet.

Majority Are Comfortable Having Technology Monitor Employee Internet Usage

In this year’s study, network and system administrators were also asked about their comfort level in using technology to monitor individual employee usage of the internet:

• 30.58% indicated that they were “very comfortable” compared with 27.85% the previous year;

• 26.66% answered they were “somewhat comfortable”, compared with 22.14% in 2005, when the question was added to the survey.

Initial Sentiment for New Microsoft Vista Operating System Less Than Enthusiastic

A new question on this year’s VanDyke Software-commissioned survey executed by Amplitude Research asked about adoption plans for Windows Vista (formerly code-named Longhorn), which is expected to be available to enterprises in November 2006 although there are rumors that it might be delayed. Key findings include:

• 10.98% are currently in beta testing
• 19.21% are waiting for public beta release to begin testing
• 25.49% are waiting for official release to begin testing
• 5.09% have plans to deploy after successful completion of beta testing
• 20% will deploy after successful completion of testing of the official release
• 11.37% will deploy after Service Pack 1 for Vista is released
• 11.37% will deploy only on new PCs with Vista pre-installed
• 52.15% said they have no current plans to deploy Vista

Of those who said they have plans to test or deploy Vista, 58.33% said their primary interest in Vista was “enhancements”, while 30.12% cited “improved usability”. Of the 52.15% who expressed no plans to deploy Vista, the following primary reason was cited for their lack of interest in Vista:
• “Can’t justify the return on investment” (36.84%)
• “Feel more comfortable sticking with current version of Windows” (36.84%)
• “No features in Vista worth upgrading to” (9.02%)
• “Do not use a Windows operating system” (2.25%)
• “Too many features have been dropped” (1.5%)
• “Other” (13.53%)

VanDyke Software also commissioned Amplitude Research to conduct a simultaneous survey of 252 network and system administrators working in the computer hardware, computer software, and telecommunications industries. The findings suggest a high level of segmentation regarding adoption plans with 67.04% of the 252 respondents indicating that they would deploy Vista.

Confidence in Giant Single-Source Security Vendors Wanes

In what seems to be a blow to the vitality of single-source security vendors, only 8.23% said they rely on a single-source vendor to assemble information-security tools, while 90.58% said they “mix-and-match” from multiple sources. In 2005, 9.64% of the survey respondents indicated that they turned to a single-source vendor, and in 2004 17.61% responded that they turned to a single-source vendor for a turnkey solution. By comparison, almost 29% of the respondents in the simultaneous survey of the computer hardware, computer software, and telecommunications industries indicated that they assemble information security tools from a single source.

The survey of network and system administrators was conducted over a three-day period from April 18 to April 20, 2006 and had 255 responses with a margin of error of 6.12% at a 95% confidence level. All different size employers and industry groups were represented in the study with 23% of the respondents working for organizations with less than 100 employees, 29% working for organizations with 100 to 1,000 employees, 22% working for organizations with 1,000 to 5,000 employees, and 25% working for organizations with more than 5,000 employees. A little more than half of the 255 survey respondents (56.47%) have worked in the technology sector for more than 10 years, with over 88% having worked in the technology sector for more than five years.

To obtain an executive summary of the 2006 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 Marc Orchant, PR & Marketing Manager at VanDyke Software.

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Amplitude Research® ( is a full-service survey research organization with blue chip clients located throughout the United States and Canada. Its leadership team has over 25 years experience in survey research, online data collection, and statistical analysis of survey data. Its proprietary technology panel founded in early 2002 includes access to over 7,000 network and system administrators.

VanDyke Software is a worldwide leader in secure, standards-based internet communications software. The company develops quality data access, file transfer, and communications software for internet and intranet use by corporations, government, and education. VanDyke sells and distributes its software over the internet, offering 30-day evaluation of its products prior to purchase, and has more than one million registered users in over 100 countries. For more information about VanDyke Software, visit the company's web site at

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