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53% of staff have little or no awareness of corporate security

The survey, sponsored by Check Point and which took in responses from 450 UK IT security administrators, also revealed that 35% of those surveyed said that managing complex security environments is the biggest challenge facing their organisations.

The research also reveals that an ability to manage security policies by user is central to enforcing better security overall, with 52% of respondents citing identity awareness as a security priority for the year ahead.

According to the survey, over 140 respondents (31%) believe the primary concern with emerging Web 2.0, cloud and mobility technology adoption is compliance.

Staffing and IT resources, meanwhile, were also a concern (27%), followed by security uncertainty (21%) and IT budgets (20%).

So what is the solution to this damning set of results?

According to Check Point, better education and awareness is needed to help people realise their important role in maintaining the organisation's security profile.

Survey respondents, says the IT security vendor, believe the ability to manage policies by user is key to enforcing better security overall.

Nick Lowe, Check Point's head of Western European sales, said that, in order to improve security in this day and age, organisations need to get a better understanding of their current environments and prioritise their short and long term initiatives.

"By educating end-users and enforcing security policies with a holistic view of the organisation, companies can minimise the complexities associated with security and compliance", he explained.

Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, meanwhile, said that companies are constantly facing new and costly security risks from both internal and external sources that can jeopardise the business.

"Our research has shown that one cyber-attack can range anywhere from $237,000 to $52 million", he said.

"However, employees can play a big role in being a first line of defence, helping their company enforce stronger security measures and promoting more user awareness within the organisation", he added.

The survey - Understanding Security Complexity in 21st Century IT Environments - was independently conducted by the Ponemon Institute in February 2011, surveying over 450 IT administrators in the UK and over 2,400 worldwide.

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