Feeds

IT bosses: directors don't take security seriously

Their fault for not talking the board's language?

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Most IT managers believe that while their board-level superiors pay lip service to compliance and security, they don't really take it seriously, according to a survey carried out for software developer NetIQ.

The survey also revealed that 51 percent of the 218 UK companies queried still do not have the processes and procedures in place to manage risk and comply with rules such as PCI and MIFID.

Ulrich Weigel, NetIQ's security products director, acknowledged that the survey only measured the perceptions of IT and security managers, but said he was still surprised at the degree of scepticism that they showed.

With all the publicity that regulatory compliance has received, you might have expected company directors to understand the importance of IT security by now, but it seems they are as clueless as ever. However, Weigel suggested that's partly the fault of the IT department.

"IT tends to talk about the technical aspects of security, but the business manager needs to understand the risk they're running," he said. "That gets you into predictive management, and while most companies do that for systems management, very few do it from the security point of view."

Thomas Raschke, an analyst with Forrester Research, said that the gap in understanding between IT and the rest of the business tied in with his own research.

"We are currently in a time of transition, one that can make CISOs [chief information security officers] with less business-side experience acutely uncomfortable," he added. "In the interim, legacy CISOs and other security managers still struggle with gaining visibility and influence within the business."

Weigel suggested that IT managers need to learn how to discuss the security risks in financial and business terms, so they can explain that "the cost [of security] is ridiculously small compared to the cost of a breach."

They must also bring the way their departments work into line with other parts of the business, he said, for example by acquiring systems and security management and reporting tools that "connect people to processes" by turning IT activities into workflows. Not surprisingly, NetIQ sells exactly that, in the shape of its Vigilant Policy Centre.

"Systems management traditionally has well-defined workflows," he said. "The challenge is making sure those are followed and are auditable."®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.