IT security staff feel squeezed

Networks face more threats and IT budgets are down. How much pressure do information technology security staffers feel?

Quite a bit, says a new survey from Trustwave Holdings Inc., which makes unified threat management solutions.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents expect to experience more pressure to secure their organizations in 2014 than last year, the just-issued report says. That’s up from 54 per cent in last year’s survey – although the results have a five per cent margin of error, suggesting at the very least the pressure hasn’t changed.

Given the number of corporate breaches reported in the last two months alone it isn’t suprising that IT security feels under the gun.

More seriously 79 per cent of respondents said they were pressured to unveil IT projects in 2013 despite concerns that the projects were not ready due to security issues. Sixty-three per cent said this happened “once or twice” in the year, and 16 per cent said it happened frequently.

Sixty-five  per cent of respondents feel pressured to select and purchase security technologies with all the latest features, despite the fact that 35 per cent believe they don’t have the proper resources to effectively use all those features.

Half would like to see their IT security staff doubled; 35 per cent would like it quadrupled or more.

One solution being considered is outsourcing: 36 per cent said their organization uses managed security services. Forty-six per cent plan to use managed security services in the future.

As expected, well over half (58 per cent) of respondents said that they are worried most about a data theft worries them the most, followed by intellectual property theft at 22 per cent. Twelve per cent are worried most about reputation damage and three per cent by fines or legal action.

Interestingly five per cent of respondents don’t believe their organization will fall victim to cyberattacks data breaches.

In a separate question, 73 per cent of respondents said they believe their organization is safe from IT security threats, including cyberattacks and data breaches.

The email survey of 833 full-time IT security decision makers including 101 from Canada, took place between the middle of December and mid-January of this year. Respondents consisted mainly of CIOs, CISOs, IT security directors and IT security managers. Of those 526 were from in the United States. The majority of respondents work for mid-sized and enterprise businesses.

Asked to rank the emerging technologies they feel pose the greatest security risk to their organization, respondents cited four almost equally: mobile applications (22 per cent), the cloud BYOD and social media (20 per cent), followed by big data (15 per cent).

Download the full report here

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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