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More Asian firms see IT security as strategic to their business: Fortinet

Nurdianah Md Nur | Nov. 22, 2013
Customer adoption has overtaken compliance requirements as the leading driver for IT security.

Organisations in Asia are taking a more strategic approach when it comes to IT security, revealed Fortinet's survey that was commissioned to Frost & Sullivan in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

The survey found that customer satisfaction was one of the major reasons for firms in Malaysia and Thailand to adopt security, ahead of compliance and risk reduction. In Singapore, risk reduction is the No. 1 reason for adopting security while firms in Hong Kong are investing in security to address employee productivity concerns. These findings suggest that organisations in the region are leveraging IT security in a "more strategic manner" instead of using it to simply "comply with rules and policies", said Edison Yu, associate director of ICT Practice at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific.

According to the survey, C-level executives are paying more attention to IT security issues. Overall, 69 percent of the respondents said that their CEO is a decision maker in IT security matters. In comparison, only 46 percent and 44 percent indicated that their CIOs and CFOs respectively are key decision makers in IT security matters. Yu attributed this to the fact that more firms are realising the business impact and value of IT security.

IT security solutions need to be cost-effective
The survey also revealed a widespread urge to maximise value from IT security investments. Most respondents opted for IT security solutions that consolidate multiple functionality into one device, citing greater protection, easier management and lower cost as the main reasons for such choice. Malaysia (69 percent) and Thailand (72 percent) were the two countries most inclined towards such consolidated security platforms over stand-alone security solutions. 

Firms relying on external parties for their security needs also expect value for their money. Thirty-six percent of the respondents in the region wanted their solution providers to deliver value-added services - such as visibility reports, forensics and risk profiling - in view of maximising the returns on their security investments. 

Conducted in October 2013, the survey polled 300 senior executives with positions like the CIO, CTO and Head of IT from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.


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