Almost one-third of IT decision makers in Australia and New Zealand have experienced a security breach in the past year, with 23 per cent indicating that the violation harmed their reputation, according to a survey conducted by global IT association ISACA.
One in 10 respondents to the 2012 Governance of Enterprise IT Survey had also experienced a privacy breach in the past 12 months. Almost half (48 per cent) said customer satisfaction had been reduced following an IT-related incident.
“It sounds like a big number but when we take into consideration that it could be bigger, maybe we are winning some battles,” Jo Stewart-Rattray, director of ISACA told CIO.
Still, Stewart-Rattray said organisations need to be more vigilant about security, particularly with the widespread use of social media and mobile devices, and the increasing amount of unencrypted corporate data that is being sent across Cloud networks.
She added that enterprises moving to Cloud computing services needed to do due diligence on their chosen Cloud service provider to ensure their data was appropriately protected against attack.
Respondents to the ISACA survey were asked to indicate their biggest network security challenges over the next 12 months. Data leakage (19 per cent of respondents) topped the list while 17 per cent were concerned about inadvertent employee mistakes and 15 per cent about incidents relating to employees’ personal devices.
Skills shortage a concern
The survey also found that the IT skills shortage was still a major issue for many enterprises. More than half (54 per cent) of respondents indicated that they had experienced staff shortages within the past 12 months.
According to Stewart-Rattray, the number of people studying science and technology in Australia is declining year-on-year, which is a key factor that is contributing to the shortage.
“There aren’t many choices [for courses] at the undergraduate level [in information security],” said Stewart-Rattray who is also director of information security at accounting firm RSM Bird Cameron.
“I have a huge intake of breath if I have to go looking for people in the marketplace because it’s difficult to find people. Those that do graduate are quickly snapped up,” she said.