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December 2012

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Closing the Gap: 2012 IOUG Enterprise Data Security Survey

The new survey from the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) titled "Closing the Security Gap: 2012 IOUG Enterprise Data Security Survey," uncovers some interesting trends in IT security among IOUG members and offers recommendations for securing data stored in enterprise databases.

"Despite growing threats and enterprise data security risks, organizations that implement appropriate detective, preventive, and administrative safeguards are seeing significant results," finds the report's author, Joseph McKendrick, analyst, Unisphere Research.

Produced by Unisphere Research and underwritten by Oracle, the report is based on responses from nearly 350 IOUG members representing a variety of job roles, organization sizes, and industry verticals.

Key findings include

  • Corporate budgets increase, but trailing. Though corporate data security budgets are increasing this year, they still have room to grow to reach the previous year’s spending. Additionally, more than half of respondents say their organizations still do not have, or are unaware of, data security plans to help address contingencies as they arise.
  • Danger of unauthorized access. Less than a third of respondents encrypt data that is either stored or in motion, and at the same time, more than three-fifths say they send actual copies of enterprise production data to other sites inside and outside the enterprise.
  • Privileged user misuse. Only about a third of respondents say they are able to prevent privileged users from abusing data, and most do not have, or are not aware of, ways to prevent access to sensitive data using spreadsheets or other ad hoc tools.
  • Lack of consistent auditing. A majority of respondents actively collect native database audits, but there has not been an appreciable increase in the implementation of automated tools for comprehensive auditing and reporting across databases in the enterprise.

IOUG Recommendations
The report's author finds that securing data requires not just the ability to monitor and detect suspicious activity, but also to prevent the activity in the first place. To achieve this comprehensive approach, the report recommends the following.

  • Apply an enterprise-wide security strategy. Database security requires multiple layers of defense that include a combination of preventive, detective, and administrative data security controls.
  • Get business buy-in and support. Data security only works if it is backed through executive support. The business needs to help determine what protection levels should be attached to data stored in enterprise databases.
  • Provide training and education. Often, business users are not familiar with the risks associated with data security. Beyond IT solutions, what is needed is a well-engaged and knowledgeable organization to help make security a reality.

Read the IOUG security survey now.

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