Are your IT assets as secure as you think?

North American organizations are exposing themselves to significant security and financial risks because of the inability to properly manage their IT assets, according to a recent report from Softchoice Corp.

High instances of missing anti-virus software, unpatched software, the prevalence of malware, and poorly managed hardware lifecycles are negatively impacting the effectiveness of the average North American information worker, according to the report. It underscores how the challenge of setting, monitoring and enforcing IT policies is limiting the productivity of North American organizations and exposing them to unnecessary security risks and needless expenditures.

“What we have seen is a breakdown within IT departments when it comes to verifying the effective state of their technology assets,” said Edwin Jansen, manager of the Softchoice services group responsible for the study. “Our findings show that many organizations either do not realize the value of maintaining effective IT asset management practices or they incorrectly believe there are no major concerns that they need to be worried about. This is clearly not the case.”

While most organizations stated that they believed themselves to be well protected from a security perspective, of the PCs surveyed in the study, 6 percent were found to be missing antivirus software entirely and 5 percent were found to be missing the most current anti-virus updates. Moreover, on average, 23 percent of PCs within organizations were found to be missing major Operating System Service Packs, a critical line of defense in protecting end users from the latest virus threats.

“There’s a real gap between how secure people think they are and what protections have actually been deployed to the desktop itself,” said Dean Williams, author of the report.

“This disconnect is translating directly into serious risks, even for organizations that have invested substantially in network and desktop security solutions.”

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