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Computerworld Summit 2015 live polls: Security confidence drops in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | March 13, 2015
While security budgets increased for 50% of IT professionals during 2014, cost and lack of top management support remain the two biggest challenges.

Delegates prepare for Computerworld Malaysia Security Summit 2015 

Photo - Delegates take their seats for Computerworld Malaysia Security Summit 2015.


According to 200+ IT professionals attending the 2015 Computerworld Malaysia Security Summit (12 March 2015), 2014 security budgets increased for 50 percent of the respondents when compared to the previous year, though the two biggest challenges remained - cost (34 percent) and lack of top management support (31 percent) suggesting a dip in confidence.

These findings from invited guests from companies across industries, who participated in real-time polling throughout the event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, reflected polling at the Computerworld Singapore edition of the security programme, held on Thursday 5, March 2015.

The Malaysian delegates said that top "management does not understand the importance of a security solution (36.8 percent) and showed resistance to the cost of purchasing the solutions (35.6 percent).

In tandem with mainstream news reports of high profile cyber security breaches during the last 18 to 24 months, the delegates reported an increase of security alerts to the tune of 80 percent, similar to the 2013 poll results. The majority of the threats (66 percent) were from outside the organisation, which was a slight increase on the 63 percent reported at the previous Computerworld Malaysia summit.

As detecting intrusions remains a major challenge, delegates were asked how they monitored end points: 49 percent said they relied on their organisation's firewall, 35 percent on reading logs, and 16 percent admitted they would not be aware.

In terms of managing security across their organisation, 76 percent said the work "was a bit complicated" while 18 percent said "brain surgery would be easier."

The majority (60 percent) said the number of security solutions managed was to be between 1 to 5 products, but 11 percent confessed to "having lost count."

However, outsourcing some of the organisation's security was not an option as 66 percent said no to this, though 23 percent said they had partially outsourced some of their security requirements.

Security confidence and reality

Coming back to the security budget topic, 23 percent of respondents experienced a budget reduction last year while 27 percent said there had been no change.  This was linked to IT staffing where 45 percent reporting that their organisations were "moderately understaffed", and 27 percent "severely understaffed, similar to responses at last year's security summit poll.

However, the 63 percent of the respondents said they felt security was ready for the Internet of Things (IoT), even though 88 percent agreed with the statement that "there is a widening gap between security readiness belief and actual reality."

Just 34 percent said they have the ability to "spot risky users" in their organisation, while the reasons security was important to the organisation was that it protected critical assets (53 percent) as well as corporate reputation (34 percent).

In addition, 93 percent agreed with the statement that developing the "right matrix to strengthen security and enable productivity is a real challenge." The main obstacles of the difficulty of justifying security costs to management by IT (36.8 percent) was linked to the cost of buying solutions (35.6 percent).

Meanwhile the criteria for selecting security solutions was topped by the need for integration with existing systems (35 percent) and performance (26.2 percent).

Interestingly, when asked if IT departments kept their CEO in the security loop, 71 percent said their CEO "only knows as much as IT chooses to tell," which is higher than last year's response of 69 percent.

A separate feature coverage of the Computerworld Malaysia 2015 Security Summit will be published in a special print edition of Computerworld Malaysia and sent to qualifying subscribers.


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