Are IT security risks over-hyped?

Yes: 79%

No: 21%

The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.

Most IT professionals believe that the security risks to their systems and data are routinely over-hyped, based on responses to this week's Big Question.

The situation has even prompted many large firms to put resources into IT security research to separate the serious threats from those that are just alarmist.

IT manager Nick Discott said, "Systems that are not kept up to date can be attacked, and the future of security is that it will become a secure enabler of business, rather than reaching to plug security breaches after the event."

Some people said that the security risks were wrongly believed to be over-hyped because corporate IT security departments had been so successful at combating emerging threats.

IT recruiter Mark Sullivan said, "The trouble with security threats is that there has not been a massive attack on the internet recently. IT security prevents large losses from happening and maybe that is not put across strongly enough."

Many respondents said warnings of impending IT Armageddon were exaggerated because they had suffered no major problems so far.

The response of a project manager at US aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin was typical.

"I do not see IT security as a big problem because there are adequate solutions available these days to ensure security, but the problems are still exaggerated."

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This was first published in October 2006


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