Study: Security Is Now Top IT Concern

Security has overtaken cost cutting as the top concern of IT managers with more than 75 percent of those polled in a new IDC study rating security as a very or extremely significant challenge.

According to IDC, the heightened level of security as a top concern has also had a corollary effect on IT security spending.

“Our latest survey findings indicate that IT spending on security and business continuity has increased at 59 percent of organizations in the last 12 months,” said IDC’s Lucie Draper in a statement. “We believe that despite the economic environment, and in some cases because of the geopolitical environment, the prospects for vendors of security technologies are good.”

The survey of 933 companies in both the U.S and Canada during April and May of this year showed ubiquitous access to the Internet and reactions to major security breaches were most frequently rated as having a high influence on IT security spending. Four in ten of the organizations rated security audit results as having a high influence on the deployment of security measures.

Organizations that do not have a corporate IT security officer were cited by IDC as often also not having proper policies, disaster recovery and security tracking in place.

Properly trained security personnel was noted in a survey earlier this year as being an important factor in reducing security risks. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) survey found that organizations reported 19.7 percent fewer security incidents when at least 25 percent of their staff had IT security training.

The increase of IT security spending has also been noted in a other recent surveys. In June, Meta Group forecast that security will take up to 12 percent of U.S. companies’ IT budgets by 2006. A May study by TowerGroup forecast the IT security industry as hitting $71.5 billion this year.

A Deloitte and Touche study, however, forecast that that 25 percent of its survey base would not be increasing its security spend while 10 percent actually reported reducing their security budgets.

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