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An overwhelming 80% of companies say that “end user carelessness” constitutes the biggest security threat to their organizations, surpassing the ever-present peril posed by malware or organized hacker attacks .

Additionally, 65% of businesses do not calculate the cost or business impact of security-related downtime and over 30% of firms are unable to detect or defend against a security breach in a timely manner when one does occur.

Those are among the top findings of the ITIC/KnowBe4 “2013 – 2014 Security Deployment Trends Survey.” The joint independent Web-based survey polled 500 organizations during October/November 2013 on the leading security threats and challenges facing their firms and their top priorities over the next 12 to 18 months. In order to maintain objectivity, ITIC and KnowBe4 accepted NO vendor sponsorship and none of the respondents received any remuneration for participating.

The data indicates that IT departments are hard pressed to stay abreast of myriad security issues which represent just one portion of their overall job responsibilities. Some 44% of survey respondents said their IT departments and security professionals spend less than 20% of their time on daily operational security. Another 32% said they devote 20% to 40% of their time on security. Only 20% of participants dedicate a significant portion of their daily and weekly administrative activities to securing their systems and networks.

Cloud computing and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are inarguably two of the hottest trends in high tech today. These enabling technologies increase productivity but they also present corporations and consumers with significant security, privacy and manageability challenges.

A new software service from nCrypted Cloud, a Boston-based startup, secures and encrypts cloud-based data in a straightforward, easy-to-use and affordable manner.

nCrypted Cloud encrypts data from recognized cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. nCrypted Cloud comes in three versions: a basic Consumer version which is free; a Consumer Pro version and an Enterprise edition aimed at corporate users.

Nearly two-thirds of businesses – 62% — now allow their end users to “bring their own devices (BYOD)” and use them as their corporate desktops or mobile devices to access organizational data including Email, applications and sensitive data. However, 71% of businesses that allow BYOD, have no specific policies and procedures in place to support BYOD deployment and ensure security.

That’s according to the latest independent joint survey conducted by ITIC and KnowBe4.com, a Clearwater, Florida company that specializes in security awareness training. The ITIC/KnowBe4.com survey, polled 550 companies worldwide in July and August. The survey survey found that only 13% of respondents said their firms have specific policies in place to deal with BYOD deployments, while another nine percent indicated they were in the process of developing BYOD procedures.

“These survey findings should act as a wake-up call to galvanize corporations into proactively managing and securing corporate data accessed by mobile BYOD devices before they suffer an expensive and potentially crippling loss or hack,” said ITIC principal analyst Laura DiDio. She continued, “Every firm regardless of size should conduct a risk assessment review and adopt strong security and management policies to deal with increasingly mobile BYOD deployments.”