[ISN] 'We are the worst security risk' - sys admins confess

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Oct 29 2002 - 03:06:47 PST

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    By John Leyden
    Posted: 28/10/2002 at 12:04 GMT
    More than half of all senior IT managers (58 per cent) think that 
    their own IT departments offer the largest threat to IT security. 
    IT security holes in corporate systems often open up during systems 
    upgrades or when integrating new applications into core 
    infrastructure, senior managers reported during a recent (and not 
    particularly comprehensive) survey by security consultants Defcom. 
    Further questioning revealed that 67 per cent of senior IT security 
    managers felt that their IT departments lacked the requisite skills to 
    handle the widening spectrum of security threats that exist today. Two 
    thirds also believed their employees to be a major threat to corporate 
    IT security. By contrast, only 10 per cent quizzed during the poll 
    identified malicious hackers as the largest threat to security. 
    The research also revealed that the majority of senior IT managers (70 
    per cent) are reviewing physical access to corporate premises and 
    computers, alongside monitoring and identification of IT security 
    vulnerabilities, such as computer virus transmission and hacking 
    through the firewall. 
    Traditionally management of physical security has often been left to 
    facilities or office managers. 'Social engineering' where unauthorised 
    people gain entry into buildings by pretending to be an employee or 
    contractor and then gain access to a PC, stealing or damaging 
    corporate data from inside a company, has brought the issue to the 
    attention of sys admins. Now many sys admins now want a say in 
    tackling the problem. 
    The study also found nine in ten (90 per cent) of senior IT security 
    managers would rather report to a chief risk officer (CRO) than a 
    chief financial officer or finance director. CROs are being appointed 
    to boards and executive teams, mainly in the US, to manage all 
    corporate risk including credit, market, operational and 'reputation' 
    Defcom's findings come in a survey of 20 senior IT security managers 
    of household name banks, financial institutions and utilities carried 
    out during conferences this month in London and Edinburgh. 
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