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Most IT security pros think their organizations will suffer a data breach in next six months, says Lieberman Software

A survey conducted recently by Lieberman Software Corp. revealed that more than 70 percent of IT security professionals would not be willing to bet $100 of their own money that their companies will not suffer a data breach in the next six months.

The survey, which was carried out in February at the RSA Conference 2013, measured the attitudes of nearly 250 IT security professionals and the way their organizations manage cyber security. Nearly 50 percent of respondents work in organizations with more than 1,000 people.

The study also revealed that a third of organizations do not have a policy making it compulsory to change default passwords when deploying new hardware, applications and network appliances to the corporate network.

Commenting on the research, Philip Lieberman, president and CEO of Lieberman Software, said, "These figures highlight the fact that IT security professionals realize that most organizations are woefully unprotected against cyber attacks. While vendors of conventional security products -- like firewalls and anti-virus -- are constantly updating their tools to reactively protect against the latest threats, hackers are looking for flaws and engineering new attacks to exploit them. The reality is that 100 percent protection is nearly impossible to achieve, but there are still best practices for securing access to critical systems and data that many organizations tend to ignore.

"For example, this survey revealed the unfortunate fact that so many IT groups are still not changing default passwords when deploying new systems,” Lieberman added. “This should be a standard practice. Default privileged passwords are, in a sense, hidden backdoors onto systems that are deployed on a network. Most default passwords are publicly known and easily found online, meaning anyone with malicious intent can use these default credentials to gain anonymous access to systems and applications throughout the enterprise.

"IT departments that do not have a solution in place to automatically detect, flag and change default privileged passwords on newly deployed systems are neglecting a very common security hole," Lieberman said.