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Analysis: the real cost of data security

Secure communications 'breakthrough'

The area of work that has experienced the greatest increase in activity and budgeting over the past year is in improving security of file transfers, with some 31 percent of those surveyed rating the area as a top concern, compared to only 13 percent of respondents in 2006, the research company said.

Amplitude found that 68 percent of the 300 administrators who answered its survey said that they currently use a secure method for file transfer when sending sensitive data internally between remote offices, up from 52 percent in 2006.

Roughly 75 percent of those surveyed said that they now use a secure method for exchanging sensitive data with outside parties, including vendors, customers, and suppliers.

Among those using secure file transfers either internally or externally, a vast majority, 73 percent, said that their companies have policies in place to dictate what types of information must be safeguarded, up from 60 percent in 2006.

Some 67 percent of the companies already using secure file transfer systems said they are also planning to upgrade the technologies that they currently use to that end within the next year.

"This increase in secure file transfers, and the knowledge that organisations are arming their IT and network administrators with better budgets are very positive signs," said Steve Birnkrant, chief executive of Amplitude. "It's interesting that we've been covering this for four years, and it's finally happening now, but sometimes things don't move as quickly as you might hope, and this may be a sign that a lot of planning and discussion is finally translating into real-world budgets and projects."

Another area for optimism in security can be found in company efforts to improve remote access tools, according to the report. One of the primary areas of improvement in remote access highlighted in the report is increasing popularity of SSH technologies to move data over remote connections, versus more traditional Telnet systems.

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