Most IT security professionals still manually update their security setting configurations, according to survey results released this week by St. Bernard Software.

San Diego-based St. Bernard recently surveyed 233 security professionals who attended the 2006 RSA conference and found that 52 percent said they manually update security settings, while 25 percent said they have no way to manage security settings. The survey also found that 48 percent of respondents do not have a security settings management policy in place.

St. Bernard warned organizations that unless security settings are updated regularly and configured properly, they are leaving their networks and machines in jeopardy.

"Knowing that 25 percent of IT security experts have not specifically addressed security settings management is a great concern. Hackers and virus writers are becoming more sophisticated by the day, and companies must stay on top of security settings, or they are leaving their network wide open for attack," said Steve Yin, vice president of sales and marketing at St. Bernard. "Although half of the respondents are, in fact, performing this critical function, they're doing so manually, which may not be the most efficient or effective process."