Why Security Matters Now

By , CIO |  Security, Social Networking

Two factors are influencing companies to maintain security as a corporate priority: Seventy-six percent say the increased risk environment has elevated the importance of cybersecurity among the top brass, while 77 percent said the increasingly tangled web of regulations and industry standards has added to the sense of urgency.

Respondents were asked how important various security strategies had become in the context of harsher economic realities. Seventy percent cited the growing importance of data protection while 68 percent cited the need to strengthen the company's governance, risk and compliance programs.

Notes Mauricio Angée, senior manager of IT security and compliance and CSO at Universal Orlando: "For segregation of duty purposes, it's interesting to see how companies are being asked--by compliance auditors, qualified security assessors and through legislation--to hire IT security managers with a much-more-defined set of roles and responsibilities." Such roles include setting the company's security policy, making the security budget pitch (instead of the CIO) and delegating responsibility among lower-level IT security administrators and engineers.

How Cybercrime Costs You

Losses from incidents average $833,000.

The Business Impact of Security Breaches

Financial Loss: 42%

Brand or Reputation Compromised: 30%

Intellectual Property Theft: 29%

Home Page Altered or Defaced: 20%

Fraud: 17%

Multiple Responses Allowed

None of these developments, however, make a focus on information security a sure bet in the eyes of IT leaders. Just because companies feel they have to spend money on security doesn't mean executives view it as an essential, even beneficial business process instead of a pain-in-the-neck task being forced upon them.

Angée said CIOs and security leaders still have to fight hard for every penny. Meanwhile, security execs don't have the same decision-making power as other C-level leaders in every company, says PricewaterhouseCoopers' Lobel. CIOs can bring in a CSO or CISO without a strategy and budget for that person to work with and end up achieving nothing. If something goes wrong, he concludes, "all you'll have is somebody to blame and fire."

Bill Brenner is a senior editor with CSO magazine and CSOonline.com.

Do you Tweet? Follow me on Twitter @BillBrenner70. Follow everything from CIO Magazine @CIOMagazine.

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