One of the biggest problems in security is that we rarely have a good sense of which controls actually improve security outcomes. This is especially true for newer areas like data security, filled with tools and controls that haven’t been as well tested or widely deployed as things like firewalls.

Thanks to all the great feedback you sent in on our drafts, we are happy to kick off our big data security survey. This one is a bit different than most of the others you’ve seen floating around, because we are focusing more on effectiveness (technically perceived) of controls rather than losses & incidents. We do have some incident-related questions, but only what we need to feed into the effectiveness results.

As with most of our surveys, we’ve set this one up so you can take it anonymously, and all the raw results (anonymized, in spreadsheet format) will be released after our analysis.

Since we have a sponsor for this one (Imperva), we actually have a little budget and will be giving away a 32gb WiFi iPad to a random participant. You don’t need to provide an email address to take the survey, but you do if you want the iPad. If we get a lot of recipients (say over 200) we’ll cough up for more iPads so the odds stay better than the lottery.

Click here to take the survey, and please spread the word. We designed it to only take 10-20 minutes. Even if you aren’t doing a lot with data security, we need your responses to balance the results.

With our surveys we also use something called a “registration code” to keep track of where people found out about it. We use this to get a sense of which social media channels people use. If you take the survey based on this post, please use “Securosis”. If you re-post this link, feel free to make up your own code and email it to us, and we will let you know how many people responded to your referral – get enough and we can give you a custom slice of the data.

Thanks! Our plan is to keep this open for a few weeks.