Security Front and Center as Data Breaches Rise

Big name, very public data breaches recently plaguing the retail industry aren’t just having effects on brand reputation – it’s causing a range of organizations across varying industries to take a closer look at their security practices and investments. According to CSO’s recent State of the CSO Survey, nearly half of organizations are reevaluating their information security standards. As Barr Snyderwine, CIO of Hargrove, an event service provider, shared, “The data breaches at Target and particularly Home Depot…provided a very high level of visibility of the damage to reputation as well as cost. They also elevated the need for additional security testing and scanning. We will be adding budget to implement next year.”

Security is not an afterthought, but a business issue. Mitigating risk and protecting company assets from intellectual property to customer or employee data and beyond is vital, and senior business executives are taking the cue. Three-fourths of security executives are already spending more time advising executive colleagues on security-related matters, and the time spent advising is expected to only continue to grow.

As Snyderwine referenced, making smart security investments is on the agenda for organizations and the research supports it. Security budgets are expected to increase by an average of 11%; however, that doesn’t mean spending at will. Understanding the impact of security spending is just as important, which is why 76% employ a formal methodology to justify spending.

Although an increase in investment provides optimism for vendors seeking to secure those dollars, vendors should take attention to relationships. Overall satisfaction with security vendors is decreasing. In 2012, 26% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their security service vendors, and this year’s results saw an increase to 34%. Organizations know that vendors are necessary to make projects come to life. But with the growing number of options, it’s necessary for vendors to produce solutions that align with business needs and have the post-sales service be as easy to navigate as the purchase.

In terms of information sources security professionals rely on most for security-related information, they are reaching out to and using a myriad of sources.

  • Peers (74% net)
  • Security/Technology Content Sites (65%)
  • Analyst Firms (64%)
  • White Papers (61%)
  • Executive Conferences or Events (57%)

Events like the CSO50 Conference + Awards give security decision-makers the opportunity to further examine and discuss current security issues, along with the latest developments, and for vendors to begin the conversation.

Due to these recent high profile data breaches, security is coming to center stage. Are you making sure your products/services are front and center for them?

Source: State of the CSO Survey, CSO, 2015


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