Security is steadily rising in perceived importance on IT managers’ lists of priorities, according to security specialist Tony Krzyzewski, managing director of Kaon Technologies Ltd.

Ten years ago, when he was doing early security work on Ethernet, it was running around 14th, according to surveys, he said. “After 9/11 it rose to sixth and now it’s number four.” Heading the list is still “customer satisfaction”.

Krzyzewski was speaking at a recent security conference organized by BrightStar Inc. He noted that despite the rise in perceived importance to IT management, ICT security is still not easy to sell to top managers because they perceive no payback.

The sell has to be in terms of an “insurance policy”, he said, and management should have the consequences of a security breach spelled out to them. One of the possible outcomes is loss of reputation: “Your company might end up [in a negative story] on the front page. Or you might lose large amounts of money,” he added.