Data breaches found to worry managers

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Symantec report

Data breaches are the primary concern of information technology managers at the federal, state and local government levels and in the private sector, according to a recent survey of 600 IT executives.

Of the 200 federal IT executives responding, more than three-quarters said their agency has an overall high level of IT security, but just over half of their counterparts in the private sector and state and local government are that confident. The survey also reported that fewer than half of the IT executives interviewed said they were sharing threat incident information among themselves.

The study was sponsored by Symantec and performed by O’Keeffe and Company, a public relations firm based in the Washington, D.C., area.

Federal IT managers have also been working to strike a balance between the pressure to protect data and to increase information-sharing with agencies and across the government and the private sector.

The survey found that fewer than half of federal respondents report threat incidents to the private sector or state or local government, and fewer than half of private-sector respondents report incidents to federal, state or local governments. However, more than three-quarters of the private-sector IT managers interviewed said that they wanted more information on cybersecurity from the federal government.

Although the majority of respondents thought that the Bush administration's recently announced national cybersecurity initiative will have a positive effect, only slightly more than ten percent of them correctly identified the program's objective, the survey said.

Most of the administration's cybersecurity initiative is classified, and members of Congress have been pushing for more information about the program.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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