Three Cybersecurity Takeaways from the 3rd Annual IBM AIX Community Survey Findings

AIX community survey cybersecurity

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The 3rd Annual IBM AIX Community Survey was conducted in Q4 2018 to gauge how AIX is being used and the role it will play for IT leaders in the coming years. 600 IT professionals from various industries around the world participated.

Though you should certainly dive into the full report for a comprehensive overview of the future of AIX, it is also worth focusing on the cybersecurity findings specifically. Read on to find out about cybersecurity challenges the AIX community is facing, and how they are looking to resolve them.

1. Cybersecurity remains a top concern.

As it was last year, cybersecurity was once again in the top three AIX concerns. Common cybersecurity challenges include the complexity of government and industry requirements, management underestimating security risks, the constant changing of threats, lack of knowledge and skills, and evolving technology.

2. Regulatory compliance is almost universal.

As mentioned above, government and industry requirements are the top cybersecurity concern for AIX users at 46.4 percent. This makes sense given how many users are affected by these requirements, with almost all respondents (97.1 percent) reporting that their organizations must adhere to regulatory compliance requirements including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, NERC, and DOD.

The concern over this compliance is well founded. Violations are incredibly common.  For example, according to the International Association of Privacy Professionals, in only the first month of GDPR enforcement, the UK alone saw 1124 complaints. Violations not only cost companies millions of dollars, they can do serious damage to the reputation and trustworthiness of the organization. 

               

3. Security challenges are being addressed with solutions, not more staff.

37.8 percent of respondents have fewer than three staff members working solely on increasingly sophisticated and time-consuming cybersecurity issues. Additionally, there is the concern about a lack of cybersecurity knowledge and skills noted above, as well as an increase in the concern of reducing IT spending from 23.2 percent last year to 29.2 percent. These responses make it clear that AIX users are not looking to or are unable to solve their problems with the addition of new staff.

 Instead, IT professionals are either using or planning to implement many of these technologies in their AIX environments. Many already have solutions currently deployed. For example, 49.8 percent have adopted antivirus protection. Those who have not yet adopted antivirus should focus particularly on endpoint solutions that protect both workstations and servers, ensuring the network and critical systems are safeguarded from malware.

Additionally, respondents noted plans to implement security solutions, with SIEM/SYSLOG leading the pack at 38.8 percent. SIEM solutions streamline security dataflows, prioritize alerts and reduce the need for manual monitoring by security teams, saving time and eliminating the need to hire additional staff to keep up any time a new tool is introduced.

 

Despite security challenges, AIX is still alive and well, with 73.7 percent of respondents reporting that AIX provides a higher ROI than other servers. Given that 91.6 percent use AIX to run at least 25 percent of their core business processes, it promises to be a steady presence across organizations for years to come. AIX remains a highly relevant and valued operating system for IT professionals across many industries, trusted for its return on investment and reliability.

Want to read about the full results of the survey?

Find out more about the AIX community in our comprehensive report.