Survey: Half Of Windows Vista Adoption Driven By Security

A new study shows that IT managers are intrigued about Vista's new on-board security, along with user account control and an overall sense of better safeguards.
Half of IT managers who are either testing or installing Microsoft Windows Vista this year said the operating system's security enhancements are the primary driver fueling the move, according to a new study.

Amplitude Research's fourth annual Enterprise Security Survey, which was commissioned by VanDyke Software, surveyed 300 IT professionals -- 217 of whom are contemplating or moving to Vista. Of those looking to Microsoft's newest, and highly touted, operating system, 14% said they are eager to use User Account Control (UAC), which is a new security feature designed to limit individual machines' administrative permissions in order to ward off malware attacks.

Another 22% of respondents said they were upgrading to Windows Vista to take advantage of overall "improved functionality."

The survey, which was geared to find out what keeps IT administrators up at night with worry, also showed that file transfers are a greatly increasing concern. Secure file transfer showed the greatest growth of all the managers' concerns, becoming one of their top three security concerns. Thirty-one percent of managers named it a top fear this year, compared with 13% last year.

About two-thirds of the 300 survey respondents reported using a secure method of file transfer when exchanging sensitive data internally between remote offices. That number is up significantly from 52% in 2006. The study also showed that three in four reported using a secure method of file transfer at least sometimes when exchanging sensitive data with customers, vendors, suppliers, and other third parties.

Keeping virus definitions up to date is another major concern, with 45% of managers citing it. Forty percent worry about monitoring intrusions, while 42% are concerned with patching systems and 47% fret about secure remote access.

Actually, securing remote access came in as the No. 1 concern, with 24% giving it their top rating, up from 15% the year before.

"The survey findings correlate to what we see happening in the field," said Jeff P. Van Dyke, president and founder of VanDyke Software, in a written statement. "Finally, the lines have crossed with steadily increasing adoption of Secure Shell and a significant decline in the use of Telnet to configure network devices."