Mainframes are a critical piece of the technology infrastructure for countless enterprises. They are leveraged by 71% of Fortune 500 companies, which emphasizes just how pivotal they are in large-scale business operations. Whether it\u2019s buying groceries, making a bank transfer, or booking a flight, the mainframe is powering how consumers interact with organizations and is behind millions of transactions that take place every day.\n\nAccording to a recent survey by Rocket Software, 51% of IT leaders indicated that they run either all or the majority of their core business applications on the mainframe. This means the security of the mainframe is absolutely essential. And as new methodologies like DevOps, the increasing adoption of open source, and the shift to hybrid cloud solutions continue to trend, mainframe security vulnerabilities become a serious threat.\n\nTo find out how IT leaders view those changes to the digital landscape and the risks they bring to the mainframe, Rocket Software conducted a survey of 250 global IT directors and vice presidents in companies with more than 1,000 employees. Read on to learn their perspective on mainframe security.\n\nGauging mainframe security confidence\n\nMainframe security is a major concern for business leaders as 68% of respondents said it is an area that their organizations take seriously. However, 27% of respondents said they know it\u2019s important, but don\u2019t have the funding or resources to contribute as much as they feel they should. And only 28% of organizations said they felt extremelyconfident in their proactive response to mainframe vulnerabilities.\n\nWith the mainframe holding so much mission-critical data, it\u2019s more important than ever to make sure it is secure. Ensuring the integrity of the mainframe means businesses need to regularly assess where vulnerabilities lie within their organizations. It\u2019s a fact that resonated with some respondents: the survey results showed the frequency of security assessments varies among organizations as 33% conduct compliance assessments for their mainframes every one to two years, whereas 56% undertake them on an annual basis.\n\nPreparing a security conscious workforce\n\nSecuring the mainframe, especially at large organizations, requires a knowledgeable and trained staff to support operations and monitor for vulnerabilities. But even with that reality, when it comes to bolstering the security consciousness of an organization's workforce, the landscape presents a mixed bag. Just 62% of organizations consistently offer training or educational initiatives aimed at heightening security awareness among their teams, which is standard industry practice. Compare that to others who, 31% of, restrict such endeavors to a one-to-two-year interval. With the rate of change brought by new technologies and solutions, training and education are a must for organizations looking to secure their mainframe operations.\n\nAddressing the threat of data breaches\n\nIn the realm of mainframe security, adhering to regulatory and industry standards isn't just a box to check\u2014it's a non-negotiable imperative. The rise in rules and regulations, such as the GDPR, PCI DSS, and DORA, reflects the global push for greater data protection and privacy in the digital age.\u00a0Organizations are now required to maintain more stringent standards for collecting, processing, and storing personal data, ensuring the rights of individuals are at the forefront of digital interactions.\n\nThe shift in regulation means transparency, accountability, and proactivity have become critical to safeguarding user data. As critical as those goals are, there\u2019s still a gap among respondents. Rocket Software found that just 27% of respondents believe their organization is extremely effective at ensuring compliance as it pertains to mainframe security. \n\nEnsuring compliance isn\u2019t just about following regulations, it\u2019s about managing serious risks too. Security breaches are a devastating event for businesses, so where do leaders feel they rank when it comes to preparedness? The answer: It varies. An overwhelming 97% of organizations believe they can isolate workloads, but 39% acknowledge that isolating workloads takes precious resources and lengthy cycles internally\u2014and that can quickly translate into lost dollars and a damaged brand reputation. This data brings forward the pressing need for organizations to not just bolster their mainframe defenses but also equip themselves for rapid, effective responses when breaches occur. \n\nWhat\u2019s next for mainframe security\n\nThere\u2019s no question that the mainframe is here to stay. And as long as that remains the case business leaders will need to ensure they\u2019re doing everything in their power to keep operations and infrastructure secure. The insights and data generated by Rocket Software\u2019s research make it clear that leaders understand that reality, but there\u2019s still work to be done.\n\nIs your organization ready to handle the security needs of the mainframe? Learn more about how Rocket Software can help.