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Are organisations failing to prioritise security?

James Henderson | May 24, 2016
81 percent of respondents to a survey expect their IT security budgets to either remain the same or, at best, gain a slight increase.

Security is one of the most important technology investments businesses can make yet recent research indicates this is not always the case.

A Red Hat survey of almost 400 IT security users, carried out by TechValidate in early 2016, suggests that, while companies are aware of the importance of IT security, few are prioritising investment in security infrastructure.

The research found that 81 percent of respondents expect their IT security budgets to either remain the same or, at best, gain a slight increase this year.

Meanwhile, 61 percent said that IT security represented 15 percent or less of their organisation’s total IT budget.

“Organisations need to invest in security infrastructure,” says Colin McCabe, director, consulting and training, Red Hat.

“Despite an increase in high-profile breaches, new vulnerabilities, and new attack methodologies, security budgets are largely unchanged. IT departments are expected to do more with less, which puts pressure on everyone.”

The research also found that maintaining company trust among customers was the most common incentive for creating a strong security posture. Potential revenue loss and brand negativity in the public eye resulting from attacks or data breaches were less important among those surveyed.

“This represents an interesting turn in the security world, but it makes sense,” McCabe adds. “Protecting assets such as customer data is critical, and so is making sure that customers trust the entity that is protecting their data.”

Finally, and perhaps of most concern, was the finding that few organisations paid particular attention to the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

In addition, just 14 percent of respondents said they were concerned with unpatched or unpatchable connected devices. By contrast, 36 percent were more concerned with employee security practices.

“There is some good news, with well over half of the respondents deploying security patches regularly,” he adds.

“However, the survey results indicate that organisations today are yet to put words into action when it comes to IT security.

"The threat landscape is only going to become more problematic as time goes by, so companies need to take action now.”


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