About 25 per cent of organisations are unable to list the systems on their networks, and are unaware of the operating systems they are running and the patches which have been applied, a Symantec survey has found.
"This is absolutely critical to any organisation," said Jeremy Ward, director of services development at Symantec.
"Unless you know what your assets are, unless you know where your assets are and unless you know how crucial they are to your business, you cannot even begin to assess or manage your risks," Ward told vnunet.com.
The poor knowledge of network topology bodes ill for a company's ability to comply with government regulations and prevent security breaches.
The survey questioned 528 people worldwide in roles ranging from IT executives, staff and professionals.
Respondents were generally not confident in their company's ability to prevent future security incidents.
Two thirds anticipate a major regulatory incident within the next one to five years, and 58 per cent expect a major data loss as the result of a system outage, corruption of data or security breach within the same time period.
- A video interview with Jeremy Ward is available on the Silicon Valley Sleuth blog.
- Microsoft calls for granular security
- Longhorn Server to offer tighter identity integration
- Symantec warns of security conflicts of interest
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