Survey: Vista adoption driven by OS security improvements


Network administrators have turned to Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system because of its enhanced security features, according to a just-released study.

Amplitude Research's fourth annual enterprise security survey, commissioned by vendor VanDyke Software highlighted the growing use of secure file transfers in security-conscious organizations.

According to Steve Birnkrant, CEO of Amplitude, 52.3 percent of Vista adopters were motivated by the security-related features - such as the improved firewall and anti-spyware functions - in Microsoft's newest operating system.

Even though Microsoft's User Account Control (UAC) has received poor reviews from security researchers, another 14 percent of respondents said Vista's limited account capability was their most pressing reason for switching to Vista, noted Birnkrant.

He called 2007 a "breakout year" for Secure Shell, a telnet alternative, for file transfers within enterprises. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of responding systems and network administrators - said that their organizations require a secure file-transfer method when exchanging sensitive data between remote offices. That figure rose significantly from 52 percent last year.

In addition, 73 percent said their enterprises are using a secure method of file transfer when exchanging sensitive data with customers, vendors and suppliers. That figure jumped from 60 percent a year ago.

"People have finally focused on secure file transfer and decreasing their reliance on telnet," said Birnkrant.

Legislative demands did not play a significant role in the increase of secure file-transfer methods. To the contrary: Only 29 percent reported that legislative requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley or the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) had had the greatest impact on IT security planning; 45 percent said that customer or vendor demands had played the largest role according to Birnkrant.

Birnkrant pointed to the diverse nature of the survey’s respondents to explain this. Seventeen percent of the respondents worked at small companies - those with fewer than 100 employees – and are more likely to deal with customer-related security issues rather than legislative drivers. About 45 percent of respondents worked at medium-to-large enterprises, or those with 250 to 5,000 employees.

The report also noted that a majority (63 percent) said their organization has budgeted sufficiently to support their IT security needs. Less than half (49 percent) felt this way in 2006.

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