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Survey reveals malicious intruders, untrained insiders challenge IT professionals

SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) reported its cybersecurity survey among federal IT professionals revealed that while the majority of respondents describe their agencies as cybersecurity-ready, many still face attacks and threats by both malicious intruders and careless and untrained insiders, and they are tasked with mastering IT security despite organizational and budget challenges.

In early 2014, Market Connections, a leader in providing customized government market research, in conjunction with SolarWinds conducted a blind online survey of 200 IT and IT security professional decision makers in the federal government and military. Nearly all respondents (94 percent) rated their agencies´ cybersecurity readiness as good or excellent, asserting that they have the necessary cybersecurity tools, processes and policies in place. Despite their confidence, though, federal IT departments still face a myriad of cybersecurity threats.

External hacking is the top cybersecurity threat plaguing federal agencies, according to half of respondents. Other human-caused threats include insider data leakage and theft (29 percent), mobile device theft (20 percent, or 25 percent among Civilian-only), and physical security attacks (18 percent).

While 47 percent of respondents said the general hacking community is first to blame for cybersecurity breaches, careless and untrained insiders are a close second (42 percent), indicating that insiders may inadvertently pose nearly as many risks as deliberate, malicious hackers.

Further, 53 percent of Defense-only IT Pros named careless and untrained insiders their top security threat sources — more so than foreign governments (48 percent) and terrorists (31 percent).

SolarWinds provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses. Its website is at


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