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IT, Business Execs See Security Needs Differently

 
 
By Michael Vizard  |  Posted 2016-03-08
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - IT, Business Execs See Security Needs Differently
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    IT, Business Execs See Security Needs Differently

    Channel partners must deal with the vastly different ways IT/security leaders and senior business executives see their organizations' security priorities.
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    2 - Highest Corporate Priorities
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    Highest Corporate Priorities

    When asked which corporate initiative has the highest priority in their companies, 35% of IT and security leaders said protecting against cyber-attacks was the No. 1 priority, while only 5% of C-suite executives said the same.
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    3 - Most Important Business Assets
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    Most Important Business Assets

    25% of IT and security pros cited regulated data and 20% customer data as the most important business asset they need to protect. The C-suite execs pointed to company reputation with customers (25%) and private intra-company communications (14%).
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    4 - Level of IT Security Confidence
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    Level of IT Security Confidence

    IT and security execs are most confident in their abilities to secure regulated data (51%), customer information (47%) and strategic plans (45%). They are least confident when it comes to liquid financial assets (17%), product specifications and pricing (21%), and private intra-company communications (22%).
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    5 - Expectation of a Security Breach
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    Expectation of a Security Breach

    While 40% of IT and security pros expect a breach to occur within one year, only 23% of the respondents in the C-suite had the same expectation.
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    6 - Biggest IT Security Vulnerabilities
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    Biggest IT Security Vulnerabilities

    IT and security pros cited threats that move faster than defenses (36%), cloud architecture (34%) and penetration via non-standard devices (34%) as the biggest security vulnerabilities. The C-suite pointed to cloud architecture (40%), penetration via non-standard devices (39%), and undersized or under-funded IT security staffs (31%).
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    7 - Impact of IT Security on Business
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    Impact of IT Security on Business

    When asked how the threat of cyber-attacks and the effort needed to mitigate them affected their companies' operation, 26% of IT and security execs said it impedes new market entry, 25% said it absorbs too much management time and 24% said it stifles innovation. Execs on the business side saw different effects: 54% said it absorbs too much management time, 46% said it reduces employee efficiency, 45% said it resulted in slow competitive responses and 45% said it impedes product launches.
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    8 - Most Important Elements of Security Strategy
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    Most Important Elements of Security Strategy

    The IT and security leaders said software backup and recovery (52%), followed by firewalls (49%) and mobile security (49%), were the most importance parts of a security plan. The C-suite execs pointed to cloud-based security solutions (29%), followed by firewalls, anti-virus software and mobile security (all tied at 24%).
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    9 - Increase in IT Security Funding
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    Increase in IT Security Funding

    Nearly three in 10 (28%) IT and security leaders foresee a significant increase in IT funding this year, and 27% said the same for next year. In the C-suite, only 8% see a significant increase this year and 7% next year.
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    10 - IT Security Funding Priorities
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    IT Security Funding Priorities

    IT and security execs cited mobile security (35%), software backup and recovery (34%), and firewalls (31%) as funding priorities. C-level business execs see firewalls (12%), mobile security (11%), and software backup and recovery (10%) as priorities.
 

The fact that IT organizations and C-level business executives are not on the same page when it comes to IT security might not be a surprise to solution providers in the channel. However, a new survey of 1,100 senior executives conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of VMware shows how wide that divide is. EIU polled C-suite business executives (chief executives, chief financial officers and chief operating officers) and CIOs, chief data officers or chief information security officers at companies with between $500 million and $10 billion in revenue. The most striking difference is where cyber-security stands in terms of overall business priorities: Security and IT execs said it was the top priority, while business executives ranked it as No. 9. Most important from a channel perspective, the IT pros expected to be pouring much more money into IT security in the next two years. Yet less than 10 percent of the C-suite execs said the same. Given those differences, "security executives need to configure their cyber-defenses to match the needs of the firm," the report concludes. We examine key trends from the research.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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