Redundant staff reprisal a top security threat, says survey


Redundant staff reprisal a top security threat, says survey

Warwick Ashford

Reprisals from employees made redundant and inadequate security budgets are top concerns for IT professionals, a survey has revealed.

Three-quarters of nearly 2,000 senior executives polled in 60 countries said they are concerned about possible reprisals from former employees.

Some 42% of respondents said they are trying to understand the risks and 26% are taking steps to mitigate them, the Ernst & Young 2009 Global Information Security Survey found.

Business IT system and data are becoming a target of employees who feel resentful after being made redundant, said Richard Brown, partner in IT risk advisory at Ernst & Young.

"It is paramount that companies undertake a specific risk assessment exercise to identify their potential exposure and put in place appropriate risk-based responses, he said.

Allocating adequate budget to IT security continues to be a challenge, with half of respondents ranking this as a significant challenge, up 17% compared with 2008.

Only 40% of respondents said they plan to increase IT security spending and more than half (52%) said security spending would remain the same.

"Information security is not immune to external economic forces and senior IT professionals will need to improve efficiency and effectiveness while keeping spending to a minimum," said Richard Brown.

Regulatory compliance is a top priority and continues to be an important driver of information security improvements, the survey revealed.

Some 55% said regulatory compliance costs accounted for moderate to significant increases in their overall information security costs.

Only 6% of respondents plan on spending less over the next 12 months on regulatory compliance.

Data protection is at the forefront of many information security leaders' minds, with data leakage prevention (DLP) technologies one of the top three priorities for 40% of respondents.

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