SolarWinds Survey Finds Complexity & Data Loss Are Major Cybersecurity Concerns

SolarWinds recently released the results of their 2013 SolarWinds Security and Compliance Survey. Over 160 IT professionals were polled and their answers reveal fears about the present and future, on both cybersecurity and the influx of new technology.

Below are my five main takeaways.

  • IT professionals have varied their roles as organizations introduce new technology. While people in accounting, HR, etc, have the luxury of specializing within a key area, IT professionals must be experts in everything within their department. As cloud, virtualization, and mobile devices continue their high adoption rates, IT professionals are responsible for becoming experts in them.
  • 86% of respondents that specialize in areas other than security said they are responsible for securing IT. That means while hackers are getting smarter and attacks are increasing, those responsible for digitally defending their organization are not traditionally trained in cybersecurity. Specifically, 27% of people said they are new to cybersecurity and still learning.
  • Almost half of respondents said they spend 50% of their time on cybersecurity. So IT professionals are not only trying to understand the complex world of IT security, they are forced to spend more of their time on it. These same IT professionals who (as mentioned above) are learning new technologies also have to learn how to protect. And each technology brings its own security challenges to master.
  • Of their cybersecurity concerns, their biggest are data loss (43.6%), external threats (33.3%), and cloud security and privacy (31.5%). Inevitably, data loss is their number one priority and where they focus most of their time.
  • Their reasons for feeling less secure are an increase in volume and severity of cyber threats (40.4%) and that cybersecurity tools are too complex for staff to use (41.4%). Logically, this makes sense: As technologies grow in complexity, the toolsets of hackers get more complicated, which means the software IT professionals use to defend their organizations has to become more dynamic.

It’s no wonder then that SolarWinds has been so successful in focusing on developing simple to use IT management software. As cybersecurity management software gets more complex, it’s nice to see a company developing simple, but powerful tools that solve complex problems. To borrow a saying and sentiment Apple made famous when consumer computers and networks were going through their own complex phase, it’s nice when “it just works.”

Data image courtesy of DARPA