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Amplitude Research Survey Ranks Top Three Security Management Issues Identified By Network Administrators

  • Homeland security has least impact on network administrator’s information security planning, with great focus placed on business requirements and legislative drivers
  • A significant number of network administrators are found to be utilizing outdated data management and security solutions that leave the enterprise vulnerable, yet a significant number of survey respondents state no sense of urgency when it comes to protecting enterprise data

BINGHAM FARMS, MI & ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 24, 2004 — When 335 network administrators and network managers were asked what keeps them up at night, survey respondents indicated a lack of insomnia and a hefty amount of complacency, according to an Amplitude Research® survey commissioned by VanDyke Software®, a developer of customer-driven software solutions for secure network communications and administration. Two issues tied as being of prime concern to those network administrators surveyed: 32% responded that they worry most about “the next virus/worm” and an equal percentage answered they worry most about “a security breach to the enterprise’s network”. The big surprise was that 34% of survey respondents said they had “no worries and sleep like a baby.”

Network administrators who said they have “no worries and sleep like a baby” included:

  • 44.9% with 25 to 99 employees
  • 25% with 1 to 9 employees
  • 23.53% with 10 to 24 employees
  • 22.78 % with 100 to 249 employees
  • 17.86% with more than 20,000 employees
  • 14% with 10,000 to 19,999 employees

A majority of network administrators (51.94%) said their organization’s budget to support information security needs was insufficient:

  • 63.16% with 25 to 99 employees
  • 58.82% with 100 to 249 employees
  • 56.16% with 250 to 999 employees
  • 51.56% with 1,000 to 4,999 employees
  • 50% with 10 to 24 employees
  • 42.31% with 10,000 to 19,999 employees
  • 41.94 % with more than 20,000 employees
  • 40.74% with 5,000 to 9,999 employees
  • 36.36% with 1 to 9 employees

A separate question asked the network administrator surveyed to identify external events that have had the greatest impact on their information security plans. A little more than 10% identified Homeland Security, while 39% cited customer, vendor, and/or business partner requirements, and 23% noted legislative drivers such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Act and Graham-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Privacy Act. “One of the more interesting findings, when you peel the onion a bit and look at the network administrator’s concerns is that those who report “Homeland security” as being the greatest concern are more likely than other respondents to express the belief that their company has budgeted sufficiently to support their current information security needs,” said Steve Birnkrant, CEO of Amplitude Research. “For the largest companies with more than 20,000 employees, a significant percentage selected Legislative drivers as currently having the greatest impact on information security plans with only one respondent in the 1 to 9 employee size range selecting this choice.”

The following issues were ranked either first, second, or third most important in terms of security management issues facing their company:

  • keeping virus definitions up to date (69%)
  • securing remote access (45%)
  • patching systems (42%)
  • monitoring intrusions (36%)
  • user awareness (26%)
  • spam (24%)
  • network use monitoring (20%)
  • password management (18%)
  • user training (12%)
  • managing logs (6%)

About 43% of the network administrators surveyed said they are using the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol to protect data, secure remote access, and perform network management. While the current SSH2 is significantly more robust and secure, nearly 45% of the network administrators who are using SSH said they are continuing to mostly use the older SSH1 protocol. A cause for greater concern is that 54.9% of 337 network administrators surveyed said they continue to configure their network devices via Telnet, which is known by network security experts as being severely vulnerable to network intruders because it sends data as clear text and offers only weak password authentication.

"Telnet and its inherit insecurity has been around for a long time. And from the data gathered, it is clear that Telnet is still in wide use in organizations large and small," said Jeff P. Van Dyke, founder and president of VanDyke Software. "Although newer devices can be configured with https or Secure Shell, there are a still a huge number of devices installed out there that don't support configuration with a secure protocol. Until we see a very public exploit of Telnet, I expect Telnet is probably here to stay."

To obtain an executive summary of the survey commissioned by VanDyke Software, contact 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 and/or Marc Orchant, head of communications at VanDyke Software. The survey of network administrators and network managers was conducted over a 4-day period from April 26th to April 30th, 2004 and had overall 335 completions with a margin of error of 5.35% at a 95% confidence level.

Based in Bingham Farms, Michigan, Amplitude Research ( is a full-service survey research organization with blue chip clients located throughout the United States and Canada. Amplitude uses proprietary survey technologies, comprehensive professional services and advanced statistical analysis to deliver Loud and Clear™ survey results. Through its robust online panel of technology professionals and IT executives (, Amplitude provides its clients with high-quality feedback on technology related subjects, and can also quickly reach over 2.1 million consumers or business professionals through its network of delivery partners.

VanDyke Software ( 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 more than 100 countries. VanDyke products include the VShell™ server, SecureCRT® for remote access and data tunneling, SecureFX® for secure file transfer, Entunnel™ for data tunneling, the CRT™ terminal emulator, and the AbsoluteFTP® file transfer client.

Media Contact:

Krems Public Relations
Michael Krems

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