IT leaders say protecting businesses is a tough job: Study


About 93% Indian CIOs and CTOs believe the job of keeping their enterprise protected is becoming more challenging, according to a Fortinet commissioned global study.

Lightspeed GMI, an independent market research conducted this Fortinet commissioned survey of 504 enterprise IT decision marks (ITMDs) in Asian countries namely Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea.

The findings were part of a major survey of 1,600 ITDMs, largely from 500 employee organisations globally. About 12 Indian enterprises participated in the survey.

Pressure to keep the organisations secure has increased almost one-third in past 12 months, suggesting that security is paramount and a key consideration over other business plans.

Among ITDMs recording the highest boardroom pressure, 79% admit to abandoning or delaying at least one new business initiative because of IT security concerns.

Boardroom’s Security Pressures

The growing IT security awareness within the boardroom and its resulting pressure and involvement – was cited as a major contributor to making the IT security job more difficult with three-quarters rating awareness of senior management as ‘high’ or ‘very high’ today, up by 51% than past year.

79%of all Indian ITDMs surveyed have slowed down or cancelled a new application, service or other initiative because of cyber-security fears revealed the study. And 80% ITDMs in India reported a very high level of boardroom pressure and scrutiny around IT security. Mobility related applications and strategies are the biggest sticking points with cloudalso scoring high.

The growing frequency and complexity of threats (93%) and the new demands of emerging technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics (93%) pose the biggest challenge to ITDMs to keep their organisations secure.

Most ITDMs have been provoked into action by rising data privacy concerns (95%) and securing big data initiatives (95%); in the major cases this means new IT security investment.

Security Concerns Rise with Emerging Technology

The rising incidents of advanced persistent threats (APTs), DDoS attacks and other cyber threats, along with demands of emerging technology trends like IoT and biometrics, are the most prevalent drivers making ITDMs’ jobs more challenging.

There is a big expectation across industries for biometrics to arrive very soon, with 67% Indian ITDMs and 40% of Asia Pacific ITDMs claiming the technology has already landed or will do so in the next 12 months. 93% Indian respondents say they already have the tools to ensure it can be managed securely. Of the 10% that doesn’t feel prepared today, while 70% believe they will struggle to secure biometrics in the future as well.

Data Privacy & Big Data Security Drive Increased Spending

The high profile issues surrounding data privacy are provoking action, with 95% of Indian and 89% of Asia Pacific ITDMs planning to change their outlook on IT security strategy in response.  Of these, 55% in India are inclined to invest more money and resources to address the challenge, with 45% preferring instead to rethink existing strategy.

Meanwhile ‘Big Data’ and data analytics were cited by 95% of respondents in India as a change driver for IT security strategy, with 53 percent of these respondents planning investments.

Retail (75%) and Financial Services (67%) industry topped with the highest predisposition to invest in IT security in India. About 90% Indian ITDMs say that they have sufficient human and financial resources for IT security in the last 12 months.

“With IT security on the boardroom agenda and other challenges, they are clearly adding weight onto the shoulders of senior IT professionals and questioning the ability of some organisations to exploit innovation while remaining secure,” said Rajesh Maurya, Country Manager – India & SAARC, Fortinet.