The hike in regulation in recent years means IT security has become a boardroom topic and a discipline in its own right, says Claire Sellick, Infosecurity Europe's event director.
"IT professionals from all walks of business life are now looking for advice on what strategies to adopt in the security space," she said.
Sellick says Infosecurity Europe 2011's comprehensive education programme in London in April educated thousands of attendees.
Shows such as Infosecurity Europe demonstrates information security technology has moved out of the "nice-to-have" category and into the "must-have", she says.
With a total of 10, 482 visitors, the event is testament to the growth of the industry, says Sellick. Some 22% of visitors came from large companies that employed over 5,000 people and 17% of all attendees at director level and above.
"We've come a very long away in the past 16 years, with multi-vectored and hybrid attacks becoming the norm, and cybercriminals having developed a whole ecosystem and business around the darker side of the internet," she says.
In parallel with this trend, says Sellick, the arrival of social networking has profoundly changed the internet.
"We clearly have an evolving set of new challenges for IT security professionals, but the industry has risen to the challenge, developing an array of technologies designed to raise the security posture of organisations of all sizes, as well as allowing them to meet the needs of an increasing compliance-driven business marketplace," she says.