Network Security Is Top of Mind for Executives
Hackers and virus protection are revealed as the worst security threats according to Economist Intelligence Unit research conducted for AT&T
Converged networks take network defenses to new levels of sophistication and reliability
San Antonio, Texas, March 21, 2007
LONDON - AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced today that network security is regarded by executives as the single most important attribute of their network, according to the results of a global survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for AT&T. The research reveals that a majority of executives (52 percent) now believe that having a converged network gives their companies better deference against IT security breaches. Furthermore, nearly 70 percent feel that IP helps ensure business continuity following an emergency.
The survey of 395 senior executives called "Network Security: Protecting Productivity" also shows that, at the same time, network security concerns remain at the top of the list of barriers to implementing a converged IP network. IP convergence, although it may increase vulnerability in some ways, promises to take the network defenses to new levels of sophistication and reliability, and today organizations are equipped with incomparably better tools to protect the network than they were even in the late 1990s.
The EIU white paper shows that, increasingly, executives feel especially concerned about the growing volumes of customer data they hold and manipulate, and 45 percent say that the holding of sensitive customer data on their network makes them feel "extremely" vulnerable from an electronic security perspective. Another 41 percent say the process of analyzing and acting upon detailed customer data also significantly increases their vulnerability.
Among the worst security threats cited by nearly half (49 percent) of executives is hackers. Protecting against viruses and worms also remains top of mind for companies but emerging as one of the most feared threats is identity theft — mentioned by one-third of executives — and their concerns are set to rise over the next three years.
The EIU research has also highlighted the importance of the chief security officer (CSO), and although typically the CEO remains the primary decision-maker for electronic security decision (with the exception in Europe where the CIO is more likely to hold this role), the role of the CSO is rising, with 12 percent of companies confirming this as the main decision-maker.
"Security is becoming more and more important in today's collaborative environment", comments Lloyd Salvage, AT&T's vice president in the U.K. "We are constantly talking to our customers and helping them to re-evaluate their requirements to ensure that their businesses are adequately protected at all times."
The white paper is the second of a series of thought-leadership papers in the Network Convergence series written by AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit. Subsequent papers in the series will explore how companies are addressing the challenges of managing applications integration and enterprise mobility.
Free copies of the EIU research white paper entitled "Network Security: Protecting Productivity" can be downloaded from the AT&T Web site at: http://www.corp.att.com/emea/insights/whitepaper/network_security4.html.
Other white papers from AT&T and the EIU are available at: http://www.att.com/emea/insights/whitepaper.
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Survey and Research Methodology
As part of the research for the paper, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted an online worldwide survey of 395 senior executives across 51 countries and over 20 industries. The majority of respondents came from Western Europe (32%), Asia Pacific (30%), and North America (30%). Other respondents came from Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. 63% of those polled hailed from large firms with annual revenue of more than US$500 million. The top five industry sectors represented by the survey respondents were professional services, financial services, manufacturing, IT and technology, and healthcare, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. In addition to the survey research, the EIU conducted a series of one-to-one in-depth interviews with senior executives and analysts.
About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (www.eiu.com) is the business information arm of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist. Through its global network of over 500 analysts, the Economist Intelligence Unit continuously assesses and forecasts political, economic and business conditions in nearly 200 countries. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, the Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
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