Access and Feeds

Enterprise Security: Executives and IT Managers Have Different Perceptions of Security

By Dick Weisinger

IT teams often leave their executives in the dark.  A Ponemon security report found that about a third of IT security staff only inform their executives when they feel that there is a serious risk and 29 percent never communicate at all to their senior executives.  The result is that executives often have an overly optimistic view of the security of their networks.  Two-thirds of executives report that the security of the systems in their organization is “high”, while two-thirds of IT staff rate their systems as ‘low’ or ‘moderate’.

Dr. Larry Ponemon, author of the report, said that “what is most concerning is that it would seem security in many organizations is based on perception and ‘gut feel,’ versus hard data. The stakeholders with the highest responsibility seem to be the least informed – a view that is amplified externally. ”

The Ponemon report found that among IT staff members:

  • 69 percent think that their security metrics are in conflict with their business goals
  • 46 percent think that their current cloud security metrics don’t fully quantify and capture their security risk

Jody Brazil, president and CTO of FireMon, said that “the biggest issue is that IT security teams are flying blind.  Networks are becoming more complex and expansive, while we freeze or reduce the resources tasked with managing them. The fact that the study shows 60 percent performing manual auditing or none at all is alarming. In a threat environment that is ‘always on’ and aggressive, teams must have the ability to automate and continuously monitor and assess dynamic network environments, and be equipped with proactive tools to provide predictive and prioritized intelligence on an ever-shifting risk profile.”

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