Software developer TimBukOne has launched its 2007 Information Security Survey (ISS), the annual research project which determines how users apply information security practices in their day-to-day usage of computers in South Africa.

Into its second year, the ISS aims to get as broad a spectrum of response as possible with the objective of collecting data for information security purposes for the community and public in general.

Jos Pols, MD of TimBukOne, intends to extend this survey into other countries, so that a database of statistics can be created for various countries.

Pols says, “We can then, over time, share the data we collect to enable us to see trends, patterns and developments in different countries around the globe and compare them to our own.”

The majority of people, around 94% according to last year’s survey, place a very high value on the content of their computers, whereas less than 10% of these people regularly use encryption software. Not all people, therefore, know how to protect themselves and their information assets.

Like last year, participation is encouraged by offering 10 cash prizes of R1 000.00 each.

Participants can also invite five of their colleagues and friends to take part in the survey. If any of them win one of the 10 prizes then the referral participant also wins R1 000.00.

According to Pols, the prizes are an incentive and a token of appreciation for taking the time to complete the survey, which takes only about 10 minutes.

The 2006 survey was conducted over a couple of months and just under 1 000 people from all walks of life, ranging from young to old, and from average computer users to information security experts, took part.

Pols adds, “The information security community uses this information to gain further insight into the actual day-to-day application of information security theory in the real world. The overall objective of the survey is to raise the awareness of information security issues. It will be interesting to compare last year’s results with this year, which should be released mid way through 2007.”