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US security spend up since 9/11

A survey of 100 chief executive officers from leading US companies has shown that a vast majority has boosted security spending since 11 September 2001, and have also put in place crisis communications and updated emergency response plans.

The survey, released by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers from companies in the US with a combined workforce of more than 10 million and $3.7trillion in annual revenues, found that nearly all of the CEOs  aid their companies have, significantly, strengthened both physical and cybersecurity since the terrorist attacks.

In addition to increasing cybersecurity spending on average by 10%, nearly all of the chief executive officers said security spending would remain steady or rise slightly during 2004.

Ninety-nine out of the 100 chief executives surveyed said their companies have crisis communications programmes for employees, and as many as 88 said they have similar plans for customers, and 78 said a crisis communications plan had been put in place for suppliers.

The vast majority of the chief executive officers (97%) also said their companies have emergency response plans that have been updated in the two years since the terrorist attacks. Ninety per cent of the companies test their emergency plans each year, and 40% test their plans at least twice a year.

"Since the 11 September terrorist attacks, security has become embedded into core business operations and daily activities of our companies," said Michael Armstrong, chairman of Comcast and the Roundtable's Security Task Force.

"Companies are strengthening the resiliency of the nation's critical infrastructures, increasing investments in physical and cybersecurity, improving crisis communications and developing more extensive emergency response plans," he added.

"In addition, chief executive officers are personally engaged in security, and more than half of the companies have made security a board-level issue."

Dan Verton writes for Computerworld


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