Ninety percent of chief information officers (CIOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs) believe the job of keeping their enterprise protected is becoming more challenging, according to a survey of more than 1,600 enterprise IT decision makers (ITDMs) from network security specialist Fortinet.
Among IT decision makers recording the highest boardroom pressure, 63 percent admit abandoning or delaying at least one new business initiative because of IT security concerns.
When asked if they had been provided with sufficient human and financial resources for IT security in the last 12 months, four out of five ITDMs said yes.
A total of 83 percent said they feel they will also have sufficient resources in the next 12 months.
Most industry sectors carried this trend, with public sector going from 74 to 77 percent and retail from 80 to 81 percent.
Financial services sector ITDMs feel best equipped (87 percent for the next 12 months), though their trend is downward (89 percent for the past 12 months).
"It's tough to pick just one threat in general, but this survey points to concerns over a variety of advanced threats having a great impact," Tamir Hardof, vice president of product marketing for Fortinet, told eWEEK. "The growing frequency and complexity of threats and the new demands of emerging technology like the Internet of things [IoT] and biometrics pose the biggest challenge to IT decision makers to keep their organizations secure."
The increasing frequency and complexity of threats (88 percent) and the new demands of emerging technology like the Internet of things and biometrics (88 percent) pose the biggest challenge to ITDMs to keep their organizations secure.
The majority of ITDMs have been provoked into action by rising data privacy concerns (90 percent) and securing big data initiatives (89 percent); in the majority of cases this means new IT security investment.
The report also indicated the presence of serious boardroom pressure to keep the enterprise secure—that figure has jumped almost one-third in the last 12 months, making security paramount and a primary consideration over other business initiatives.
Mobility-related applications and strategies are the biggest sticking points, with cloud also scoring high.
The survey also unveiled that a total of 53 percent of all ITDMs surveyed have slowed down or canceled a new application, service or other initiative because of cyber-security fears.
The high-profile issues surrounding data privacy are provoking action, with 90 percent of ITDMs planning to change their outlook on IT security strategy in response. Of these, 56 percent are inclined to invest more money and resources to address the challenge, with 44 percent preferring instead to rethink existing strategy.
Industry sectors with the highest predisposition to invest in IT security are financial services (53 percent) and telecoms/technology (59 percent). The research also indicated organizations of greatest size have the greatest tendency to invest.
"One of the highlights of the survey is that cyber-security concerns are now reaching the boardroom, and this pressure is affecting IT security policy. It's leading to new business initiatives being delayed or abandoned as a result of IT security concerns," Hardof said. "Innovations including biometrics and other emerging technologies like the Internet of things are not being exploited while the IT decision makers are challenged in assuring effective and continued security."