Enterprise security decisions reach board level and take priority over other projects

Ninety percent of CIOs and CTOs believe the job of keeping their enterprise protected is becoming more challenging, according to new research from Fortinet.

Serious boardroom pressure to keep the enterprise secure has jumped almost one-third in the last 12 months, making security paramount and a primary consideration over other business initiatives, according to Fortinet.

The security provider released the findings from a global survey of 1600 IT decision makers, mainly from companies with over 500 employees. The respondents were sourced from market research company Lightspeed GMI’s online panel.

The survey finds 53 percent of respondents have slowed down or cancelled a new application, service or other initiative because of cyber-security fears. The figure is 63 percent among those reporting a very high level of boardroom pressure and scrutiny around IT security.

The growing awareness of IT security within the boardroom – and its resulting pressure and involvement – was cited as a major contributor to making the IT security job more difficult, with three-quarters rating awareness of senior management as ‘high’ or ‘very high’ today. Fortinet says this was up from barely 50 per cent one a year ago.

The respondents, meanwhile, cite the increasing frequency and complexity of threats (88 per cent) and the new demands of emerging technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics (88 per cent) as their biggest security challenges.

High profile cases around data privacy are prompting 90 per cent of respondents to change their IT security strategy. Of these, 56 per cent are inclined to invest more money and resources to address the challenge, with 44 per cent preferring instead to rethink existing strategy.

Meanwhile ‘Big Data’ and data analytics were cited by 89 percent of respondents as a change driver for IT security strategy, with 50 per cent of these planning investments in these areas.

Industry sectors with the highest predisposition to invest in IT security were financial services (53 per cent) and telecoms/technology (59 per cent), with larger organisations having the greatest tendency to invest in security.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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