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PowerTech Survey Reveals Lapses in IT Security Practices

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The PowerTech Group, Inc. today released its fifth annual review of the state of security on IBM's System i platform. This year's study is based on the results of over 200 system audits that were conducted by PowerTech during the past 12 months. The complete results and analysis are published in a whitepaper that can be downloaded from the PowerTech Web site at www.powertech.com/study2008.asp.

According to industry research, the System i is used by more than 90 percent of the Fortune 1000 alone, and is known to host sensitive and confidential data such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other private data. Although IBM has architected the System i with industry-leading security capabilities, the PowerTech research shows that the System i security is often poorly configured and poorly managed by companies that use it.

Jon Scott, PowerTech president and CEO noted, "Organizations should make it a top priority to secure the mission critical data that is on the System i. Yet, year after year, we see System i shops that leave data exposed. For example, the study found that over one third of the systems surveyed in the study are not following the IBM best practice for the overall system security setting."

A preview of the study data was first presented at iNSIGHT 2008, the System i Security and Compliance conference, which recently concluded in Las Vegas. At the conference John Earl, PowerTech vice president and CTO remarked, "Once again, this study demonstrates that System i shops are very vulnerable to loss and disclosure of their critical data. That's the bad news. The good news is that many of these exposures are easily corrected. We publish this study to draw attention to these problems so that they can be addressed."

As good as the operating system is at protecting data, any system will only be as strong as the policies and practices deployed to keep it safe. Listed below are a few examples of the study findings that trouble auditors and executives alike:

 

  • 68 percent of systems allow any user to change data on the System i using PC applications like MS Excel and MS Access. These systems also did not audit this vulnerability, which effectively hides it from oversight.
  • Out of an average of 751 users, 9 percent of all users have privileged (root level) access authority.
  • 30 percent of systems are not using the system security auditing tool inherent in the system.
  • Over half of the systems have more than 16 users with default passwords (Password = User name) that could be easily determined by any attacker.

About the PowerTech Group, Inc.

PowerTech is your security expert in managing evolving compliance and data privacy threats with automated security solutions for IBM Midrange Servers. Because System i and AS/400 servers are used to host particularly sensitive corporate data, it is imperative that organizations practice proactive compliance security. As an IBM Advanced Business Partner with over 1000 customers worldwide, PowerTech understands corporate vulnerability and the risks associated with data privacy and access control. PowerTech hosts iNSIGHT, the annual System i Security and Compliance conference.

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PowerTech is your security expert in managing evolving compliance and data privacy threats with automated security solutions for IBM Midrange Servers. Our ServerProven security solutions are straightforward and save your valuable IT resources, giving you ongoing protection and peace of mind.
 
Because IBM Power System (iSeries and AS/400) servers are used to host particularly sensitive corporate data, it is imperative that you practice proactive compliance security. As an IBM Advanced Business Partner with over 1,000 customers worldwide, PowerTech understands corporate vulnerability and the risks associated with data privacy and access control.
 
Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based PowerTech Group was founded by security experts in 1996. In 2004, PowerTech was awarded the prestigious Industry Driver APEX Award from iSeries NEWS. That same year, PowerTech also won the APEX award as the Editor’s Choice in the Security category. PowerTech is also the only iSeries security company to have been recognized as a finalist in the IBM Beacon awards.
 

The PowerTech security solutions provide definitive security coverage for iSeries and AS/400 systems.


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