Survey Reports Organizations at Risk, Unprepared to Secure Networked and Distributed Stored Data

February 26, 2004

The Emmes Group (www.emmesgroup.com), a strategy consulting and market research organization, and NeoScale Systems Inc. (www.neoscale.com), a provider of enterprise storage security solutions for the networked storage and data storage management markets, announced preliminary results of an independent survey conducted by The Emmes Group that examined the storage security preparedness within commercial and government organizations.

Although the majority of those surveyed stated that they recognize the threats to stored data, less than half employ storage-centric risk mitigation processes and more than a third do not feel that the threats, risks or protection policies are well understood by their organization. The study was sponsored by the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA), SC Magazine, InfoStor Magazine, Taneja Group and NeoScale Systems.

The report polled 555 IT decision makers and influencers across a range of domestic industries, including, but not limited to, insurance companies, service providers, government, financial, healthcare, and telecommunications.

The responses were indicated that although the majority of respondents believe that threats against the integrity and confidentiality of stored data to be the top concern, many are unprotected or are uncertain what measures their companies are taking to secure their data-at-rest.

When confronted with myriad of regulatory privacy requirements, the majority of those polled were also unsure as to how their organization’s current storage data management practices adhere with domestic, international, industry or corporate compliance guidelines. Secure access and backend storage infrastructure requirements ranked second in importance only to that of availability concerning outsourced application/hosting services – yet more than half of the organizations will deploy networked or distributed storage applications, regardless of internally limited or incomplete security capabilities.

“While network data security provisions such as firewalls, anti-virus and virtual private networks are commonplace, there is a definite disconnect among IT professionals as to storage security practices and the availability of technology to secure corporate assets and address compliance requirements,” said Martin Schroeder, executive vice president and managing director at The Emmes Group. “This survey yielded insights of value to both prospective customers and to vendors regarding storage security concerns, attitudes, awareness and requirements.”

Storage security solution attributes
The study also determined that availability, performance, transparency, manageability and cost of ownership ranked among the top five most important attributes required to implement storage security solutions.

Yankee Group, in a report last fall, concurred with the importance of the emerging storage security market. The report, entitled “The Emerging Storage Security Challenge” (ENC-10287), highlighted the drivers, applications and considerations behind storage security and alternative approaches. As detailed in the report, storage networks with increased connectivity, storage management access, disaster recovery, as well as data compliance and preservation requirements all provide potential exposures which must be addressed by a broad spectrum of industries.

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