Server security: 92 per cent still use outdated antivirus software

IT and security professionals aren’t doing enough to protect servers from harmful viruses with 92 per cent using outdated antivirus software to prevent harm from malicious attacks.

Bit9’s 2013 Server Security Survey found that just 29 per cent of respondents are using a “new-generation security solution” such as application control or white listing.

“It is alarming to see that in 2013, 92 per cent of IT and security professionals still rely on old-fashioned security solutions — particularly antivirus — and only a quarter of those surveyed have deployed a new generation of server security that doesn’t rely on signatures and is much more effective at detecting and stopping advanced threats and targeted attacks,” said Nick Levay, Bit9 chief security officer.

The survey asked 800 IT and security professionals around the world a number of questions relating to server security with the results laying bare the lack of confidence in server security in each company.

55 per cent of security professionals are concerned about targeted attacks and data breaches on servers in 2013, which is three per cent higher than 2012 and 18 per cent more than 2011.

When it comes to stopping advanced threats targeting servers just 13 per cent are “very confident” of halting such attacks, with 26 per cent of those surveyed stating servers were hit by attacks from advanced malware during 2013 – an increase of one per cent year-on-year.

A quarter of those surveyed “don’t know” if the company they work for has been hit by a server attack, which is a worrying seven per cent higher than it stood last year.

When it came to individual servers just three per cent of those surveyed said that virtual servers had the greatest risk. Although those that administer an environment made up of over 75 per cent virtual servers and rate them as having a “higher level” of security were still hit hard as 24 per cent admitted falling victim to advanced malware.