Mobile Apps, Cloud Services Top Areas of Business Investment: AT&T

More than half of executives surveyed cited the looming threat of security breaches as their most important security concern for 2013.

Businesses nationwide have continued to grow and advance their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to incorporate the adoption of wireless network capabilities, cloud services and mobile applications, with fears of potential security breaches and natural disasters weighing heavily on IT executives, according to a report from AT&T.

More than three-fourths (76 percent) of companies surveyed are using cloud or plan to invest in cloud services in 2013. Of those surveyed, 62 percent already include cloud services as part of their corporate infrastructure–up 11 percentage points from the previous year.

More than half of executives surveyed (63 percent) cited the looming threat of security breaches as their most important security concern for 2013, and a whopping 84 percent of executives said they are concerned about the use of mobile networks and devices and its impact on security threats. The majority of organizations surveyed invest in mobile security services, and of those companies, 66 percent take proactive measures against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Indeed, more than seven out of 10 (73 percent) companies are taking proactive or reactive measures to protect against DDoS attacks, 78 percent of companies indicated that their business continuity plan accommodates the possibility of a network security event, and 52 percent are taking proactive measures by identifying potential attacks with DDoS protection services.

In addition, 66 percent of companies are using or considering using cloud services to augment their business continuity strategy, for disaster recovery purposes, nearly half (49 percent) of companies plan on leveraging cloud computing for data storage. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of companies said they are including their wireless network capabilities as part of their business continuity plan.

"Companies today are very aware and concerned about the potential threats that could disrupt their operations," Michael Singer, associate vice president of mobile, cloud and access management security at AT&T, said in a statement. "With their business continuity plans in place, businesses are investing in new technologies like network-enabled cloud services to help strengthen and expand their overall continuity strategies."

Overall, the vast majority (88 percent) of those surveyed indicated they understand the increasing importance of security and indicate that their companies have a proactive strategy in place, and 87 percent of executives said their organizations have a business continuity plan in place in case of a disaster or threat–a slight uptick from the 86 percent reported last year.

AT&T has conducted the study for 12 consecutive years, surveying IT executives from companies in the United States with at least $25 million in annual revenue to measure the national pulse on business continuity planning. All participating executives have primary responsibility for business continuity planning, with 59 percent representing companies with locations outside the United States, according to the survey methodology report.