Nearly 250 IT security professionals took part in the survey at RSA Conference 2013, providing details about work attitudes and the way their organizations manage cyber security. Roughly half of respondents are employed in organizations with more than 1,000 people.
The study also reveals that a third of organizations do not have a policy that makes it compulsory to change default passwords when deploying new hardware, applications and network appliances on the corporate network.
Commenting on the research, Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software, said: “These figures highlight the fact that many IT security professionals recognize that their organizations are woefully unprotected against cyber attacks. While vendors of conventional security products - like firewalls and anti-virus - are constantly updating their tools to reactively protect against the latest threats, hackers are looking for flaws and engineering new attacks to exploit them. The reality is that 100% protection is nearly impossible to achieve, but there are still best practices for securing access to critical systems and data that many organizations tend to ignore.”
“For example, this survey revealed the unfortunate fact that so many IT groups are still not changing default passwords when deploying new systems. This simply must be a standard practice in any size organization. Default privileged passwords are, in the truest sense, open backdoors into systems that are deployed on production networks. Most default passwords are publicly known and easily found online, meaning that anyone with malicious intent can use these default credentials as a foothold to gain anonymous access to systems and applications throughout the network.”
“IT departments that do not have a solution in place to automatically detect, flag and change default privileged passwords on newly deployed systems are neglecting a very dangerous security hole.”
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