Cash-strapped IT security insuring against risk

Just 31 per cent of UK companies plan to increase spending on information security over the next year, compared to 52 per cent of the overall global respondents to the eighth annual ‘Global State of Information Security Survey’.

This is despite the fact that 60 per cent of UK respondents said economic conditions and the increased number of threats continue to drive information security spending.

The ‘2011 Global State of Information Security Survey’ is a worldwide security survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, CIO and CSO magazines. It was conducted online from February 19, 2010 to March 4, 2010, based on a sample 13,000 executives and information security professionals.

The survey found that many UK companies are now using insurance as an innovative tool to protect themselves from theft or misuse of assets like sensitive data and customer records: 38 per cent of UK respondents said their organisation ‘has an insurance policy’, and 83 per cent said that their company has collected on a claim (compared to just 13 per cent globally). The survey notes that over the last four years the business impacts – including financial losses as well as compromises to brands and reputations – have more than tripled in some cases (up by as much as 233 per cent).

In the UK, rising breach levels are creating a growing recognition that security’s strategic value needs to be ‘more closely aligned with the business than with IT’. One outcome of this has been the shift in the reporting channel of the chief information security officer (CISO) toward decision-makers like the CEO (chief executive officer) and CFO (chief financial officer), rather than the CIO (chief information officer).

The results ‘2011 Global State of Information Security Survey’ are based on the responses of more than 12,840 CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, CSOs, vice presidents and directors of IT and information security from 135 countries. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents were from Asia, 30 per cent from Europe, 17 per cent from North America, 14 per cent from South America, and 2 per cent from the Middle East and South Africa. The margin of error is less than 1 per cent.

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