August 19, 2009

NetIQ Survey Confirms Increasing Impact of Security on Active Directory Management

NetIQ Proactively Automates Active Directory Security and Administration

Press Release


–Effective and efficient administration of Microsoft Active Directory is essential for any enterprise IT organization tasked with supporting the evolving needs of a dynamic business. A recent survey by NetIQ Corporation also indicates the criticality of security, yet reveals a number of challenges administrators face as they attempt to secure Active Directory environments. As the role of this enterprise service directory continues to expand, securing the valuable business assets housed within Active Directory must take a new level of precedence.

Of over 275 unique survey respondents, managing Group Policies, maintaining permissions and demonstrating compliance are noted as the top three challenges surrounding the management and security of Active Directory. These same concerns are mirrored by the business, as 52 percent of respondents indicate policy enforcement as a primary business-related issue and 42 percent cite non-compliance, signifying security as a top priority. Additionally, 76 percent of survey participants now consider Active Directory management as a critical or important component of their evolving Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategies.

More than half of the survey respondents indicate that the threat of unauthorized change and access control to sensitive information raises considerable concerns across IT Operations and Security teams. If businesses cannot detect change or manage provisioning and de-provisioning swiftly, threat vectors can quickly amplify. To combat these risks, organizations must effectively enforce policies, minimize user privilege and control unauthorized change—either malicious or unintentional—across Active Directory.

Additional findings and concerns raised by this survey include:

  • Forty percent of respondents note that Active Directory resources are struggling to keep pace with business demands.
  • Eighty-five percent of participants' Active Directory environments are run by Information Technology teams, 12 percent are managed by Information Security groups, and three percent are run by outside vendors.
  • Forty-nine percent of survey respondents believe Information Security has, over the past three years, an increased influence on Active Directory policy and/or architecture.
  • Only 24 percent of participants are confident in their ability to detect unauthorized changes within Active Directory.

"Active Directory plays a central role in today's enterprise and there is no doubt that the threats and risks to it will continue to multiply. As a result, today's IT organizations need to re-define AD management to include security and compliance if they are to ensure that they can fully meet the demands of the business," noted Erin Avery, manager of Product Marketing at NetIQ. "By institutionalizing and automating security and internal controls within the day-to-day management of Active Directory, IT organizations will be better able to control the cost of maintaining compliance and ultimately continuously improve alignment with business demands."

About NetIQ

NetIQ, an Attachmate business, is a global leader in systems and security management. With more than 12,000 customers in over 60 countries, NetIQ solutions maximize technology investments and enable IT process improvements to achieve measurable cost savings. For more information on NetIQ’s portfolio of award-winning products for IT Process Automation, Systems Management, Security Management, Configuration Audit and Control, Enterprise Administration and Unified Communications Management, please contact us.

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