Feeds

IT bosses: directors don't take security seriously

Their fault for not talking the board's language?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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."®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.