Information security professionals see preventing reputational damage as their top priority when it comes to protecting company data, a survey has revealed.
Some 71 percent said that security programmes had to act on this issue first, according to a Frost & Sullivan survey of 7,548 information security professionals worldwide.
The 2008 Global Information Security Workforce Study found that tackling identity theft was also a high priority for 67 percent of businesses. Some six in 10 said it was important for businesses to take action on information security in order to prevent breaches of laws or regulations.
Half of the interviewees identified internal employees as the biggest threat to their organisations.
Business executives were starting to take information security seriously too. The report found that one third of information security professionals now report directly to executive management, compared to one fifth in 2004.
In spite of recession fears, 27 percent of respondents in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said that information security spending on personnel had increased last year. On average, budgets remained stable in the region.
Wireless security solutions, storage security and biometrics were identified as the top three types of technology being implemented in the region to protect data on company networks.
ISC2, the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, commissioned the survey. It is a standard for certifying security professionals based on their knowledge.
John Colley, managing director EMEA at ISC2, said more executives were now involved in security strategy, leaving the technical side to the IT team. “Professionals are being tasked more with the business of security, managing and consulting on its broad contribution to the business, while the administration of the technical solutions is being integrated into the IT department.”
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