IT Security Becoming a Boardroom Issue

By CIOReview Team

Security spending across enterprises is growing incessantly today owing to the fact that enterprises which traditionally did not focus on or invest in security technologies are now beginning to realize the implications that a weak security and risk posture can have on their business. To uncover the harsh realities of protecting businesses from the unpredictable and increasingly problematic challenges of cyber attack, data theft and other IT security concerns, a research exercise was undertaken in 2014 on behalf of Fortinet, a global network security firm, by Lightspeed GMI, an independent market research company. It polled 1,610 qualified IT decision makers (ITDMs) including CIOs, CTOs, IT Directors and Heads of IT working at large organizations from 15 countries around the world. An independent survey was also commissioned by Fortinet on 504 Enterprise IT decision makers (ITDMs) in the Asia Pacific countries of Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea. 

Amid a perfect storm of tightening compliance pressures, new technologies to embrace, and an increasingly challenging threat landscape to contend with, the analysis explores how these businesses are approaching big data analytics, data privacy and biometrics in this context. Among ITDMs recording the highest boardroom pressure, 79 percent admitted to abandoning or delaying at least one new business initiative because of IT security concerns. Up to 88 percent of respondents believe the job of keeping the organization secure has become more challenging, with the rising volume and complexity of threats. 

The high profile issues surrounding data privacy are provoking action, with 95 percent of Indian and 89 percent of Asia Pacific ITDMs planning to change their outlook on IT security strategy in response. “For IT security strategy, people are looking to invest more and rethink about the strategy. People are deploying solutions specifically looking at security of datacenters. A kind of reluctance was evident in India with respect to having qualified security experts but it is changing with time,” says Rajesh Maurya, Country Manager, Fortinet - India & SAARC.

Realizing the importance of biometrics, 46 percent of ITDMs believe biometrics is already a mainstream technology, or will be so in the next 12 months. Two-thirds say they already have the tools to ensure it can be managed securely while a small minority believes they will struggle to secure biometrics in the future. As far as India is concerned, the increasing frequency and complexity of threats and the new demands of emerging biometrics technology pose the biggest challenge to ITDMs to keep their organizations secure. 38 percent of APAC players responded that their security solutions are not robust enough to enable them to take advantage of biometrics. 

When it comes to outsourcing IT security functions, the popular belief in India is that it is unsuitable to do it. However, 77 percent of the ITDMs in India talked about outsourcing some part of the IT security functions which shows a change in the mindset. 

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