Shavlik has published its annual research into the key security challenges facing the IT industry. The study found that after a year of repeated security breaches and data losses, more than half (58 percent) of IT professionals are more concerned about system security than they were 12 months ago.
The research, found that 86 percent of respondents agree that Microsoft operating systems present the most consistent patching challenge to their organization. This highlights a 33 percent spike in associated risk around Microsoft patch system updates compared to last year’s study.
Although many have associated this spike with Microsoft updates on Windows 10, Shavlik research and experience points to a deeper and more pervasive trend, with Microsoft continually increasing the number of updates and each release resolving more vulnerabilities than ever before.
“The increase in Microsoft-associated risk may be a result of the poor level of Windows 10 updates for businesses, integrating a general feeling of lack of control and selection,” said Andy Baldin, VP of EMEA, Shavlik. “However, I believe that the spate of recent cyber attacks has given organisations an indication of the sophistication and tenacity of hackers.”
Based on the research, this is likely to increase over the next year, with 53 percent of IT professionals admitting that they are concerned about their system security in 2016. The survey also indicated that although overall concern regarding security has increased, there has been a dramatic fall in concerns relating to patching mobile devices. The same study conducted in 2014 showed that 91 percent of respondents felt that they were unable to cope with patching mobile devices once users take them out of the office. This included more than two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents who admitted they did not understand how vulnerable mobile users were to current or existing risks. In comparison, in 2015 only 17 percent of IT professionals associated mobile device patching as their main pain point.
“The seemingly decreased concern about patching risk for mobile devices may indicate that IT professionals have stopped siloing mobile devices and systems within their organization,” continued Andy Baldin. “With the growing sophistication of mobile capabilities and the fact that mobile is now a staple across business functions at all levels, more organizations are moving toward IT strategies that cover all types of devices. Good security management solutions enable mobile devices to be considered alongside laptops and other corporate systems, which is a trend we are seeing customers readily embracing for 2016.”