Network security, Windows 2000 migration and disaster recovery are the top concerns for 2002, according to a new poll.
Over 5,000 IT administrators responded to the survey carried out by utility software company Sunbelt Software. Respondents were asked to rate various networking problems on a scale of importance from one to 10. Security concerns topped the list with a rating of nine.
This was followed closely by Windows 2000 and Active Directory migration issues and disaster recovery concerns, both of which scored seven to eight.
User and system administration concerns and storage management issues were all ranked in the midrange of three to five.
Management of Microsoft's Exchange was rated a one or 'no problem' by the vast majority of IT administrators.
There appears to be little respite in the ongoing shortage of skilled IT staff, particularly with respect to implementing Windows 2000/Active Directory migrations. Those polled indicated that they faced an uphill battle in keeping adequately staffed.
One area that also remains a big concern is the size of company IT budgets. The recent Code Red and Nimba virus attacks, as well as the Windows XP denial of service security flaws, have played their part in relaxing the financial constraints on security purchases from last year, according to the study.
Laura Didio, director at analysts Giga Research, said that security was an ongoing battle "that will be waged in every area of the networking environment from the smallest application to the largest server".
"No one company can afford to practise security in hindsight or skimp on the necessary tools, training, procedures and enforcement policies to wage war against internal and external hackers," she explained.
Didio added that security and disaster recovery go hand-in-hand. "Defending corporate data and the ability to minimise damage and quickly recover from unplanned disasters of any kind should be a priority for companies of all sizes in every vertical market," she said.
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