Absolute Survey: One-Third of IT Managers Admit to Hacking

February 18, 2016

Vancouver, Canada: February 18, 2016  Absolute® Software Corporation (TSX: ABT), the industry standard for persistent endpoint security and data risk management solutions, today announced the results of a research report the company conducted among IT managers and decision makers in the United States. The report provides insight into the attitudes, behavior, and confidence levels of IT departments when it comes to the security of their organizations.

The report revealed that a high percentage of IT personnel admitted to not following the same security protocols they are expected to enforce. Of those surveyed, 33% of respondents admitted to successfully hacking their own or another organization. The report also showed that 45% admitted to knowingly circumventing their own security policies.

“Given that IT is the security gatekeeper for an organization, it was alarming to see such high incidents of non-compliant behavior by IT personnel,” said Stephen Midgley, vice president, Global Marketing, Absolute. “Even if these actions are being performed to validate existing infrastructure, senior leadership should be aware that this activity is occurring. It may also be worthwhile to consider third-party audits to ensure adherence with corporate security policies.”

The report found that security remains at the top of the IT spending list, with 87% of respondents expecting increased investment in security this year. Despite prioritizing security and increasing budgets, IT managers believe that employees or insiders represent the greatest security risk to an organization (46%). This may be related to the fact that on average, 33% of all security protocols are not being followed by staff. It may also explain the high number of security breaches, with 38% of respondents experiencing a data breach within the past year.

IT decision makers also bear the brunt of responsibility. Of those surveyed, 78% believe IT managers are primarily responsible for the organization’s security. The report also showed that 65% of IT decision makers believe they would likely lose their job in the event of a security breach.

"Despite marked improvements, businesses are still very susceptible to attack,” added Midgley. “The gaps in current data breach response plans and in upholding general best practice policies must be addressed.”

The age of the IT respondents also impacted the results, with younger professionals demonstrating a more optimistic and confident outlook for IT security.

Younger Professionals Demonstrate More Cavalier Behavior

  • Most likely to hack their own organization: IT professionals aged 18-44 (41%), IT professionals 45+ (12%)
  • Most confident in containing a data breach: IT professionals aged 18-44 (92%), IT professional 45+ (79%)
  • Most comfortable with staffing levels in order to provide effective IT and data security: IT professionals aged 18-44 (89%), IT professionals 45+ (75%)


The online survey was conducted from October 28, 2015 – November 11, 2015, among 501 U.S. adults age 18+ who met the following criteria:

  • Worked in an information security role and hold one of the following positions: IT Director/Executive, IT Manager, IT Administrator, IT Security, or Other IT / information security management role
  • Employed by a company with 50 or more employees

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About Absolute Software

Absolute Software makes security work. We empower mission-critical performance with advanced cyber resilience. Embedded in more than 600 million devices, our cyber resilience platform delivers endpoint-to-network access security coverage, ensures automated security compliance, and enables operational continuity. Nearly 21,000 global customers trust Absolute to protect enterprise assets, fortify security and business applications, and provide a frictionless, always-on user experience. To learn more, visit www.absolute.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

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