SolarWinds, in conjunction with SANS, recently released the results of a security survey* of more than 600 IT professionals representing a broad range of industries and organization sizes. The survey was conducted to identify the impact of security threats and the use of security analytics and intelligence to mitigate those threats. 


Key Survey Findings:

Survey respondents generally agreed that support for managing security today was inadequate, with key impediments being lack of visibility to effectively detect and respond to threats, as well as limited security budgets.


Lack of Threat Visibility:

A majority of respondents expressed their need for greater security data visibility and context to identify and respond to threats faster.


Forty-five percent of respondents reported that in the past two years their organization experienced one or more advanced threats that were difficult to detect, with the average detection time being one full week (a lot of damage can be done in that time). Even scarier, 21 percent reported that they lacked enough visibility to even answer the question around whether or not they had experienced an advanced threat.

Top reasons cited for "difficult to detect" threats were:

  • Not collecting appropriate operational and security data
  • Lack of context to observe normal behavior (and set baselines)
  • Lack of system and vulnerability awareness
  • Lack of skills and training


To improve threat visibility and security intelligence, survey respondents said they plan to invest in better SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools and more security-specific training. But given the limited security budgets of many organizations (which we discuss below), will these "planned" investments end up getting pushed to the back burner?


Limited Security Budget:

IT departments today are having to do more with less. IT budgets have been shrinking, so it should be no surprise that respondents cited lack of budget as a key impediment to managing security.

Many of those surveyed indicated that they are working with limited budgets to properly manage “information security, compliance and response", with nearly half of the respondents reported spending 20 percent or less of their IT budget on security.  This is definitely a cause for concern given the ever-growing threat landscape and advanced nature of attacks.

The question then becomes--how do you maximize limited security budgets to improve threat intelligence and response?


Security is everyone’s problem. The responsibility of securing IT is not just the role of a security expert anymore, it’s important for all IT pros to be equipped to tackle security challenges. But, at the same time, keeping costs down will always be a driving factor for businesses. This is why it’s so important to invest in easy-to-use, affordable security management tools that don’t require a lot of time or budget to implement, but instead provide visibility and control right out of the box.



Check out this SlideShare to view more details on the survey results.