UK CIOs are spending almost a quarter of their time managing IT security and 40% have increased spending, according to a survey of 100 CIOs across the UK.
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This equates to more than one full day a week focused exclusively on IT security, the study, commissioned by recruitment consultancy Robert Half Technology, has found.
More than a third of respondent said the time spent on IT security has increased “somewhat” or “significantly more” compared with three years ago.
CIOs are also spending more money on security, with 40% of respondents saying they have increased their company’s security budget compared with three years ago.
More than half of those said they had increased their security budgets by more than 25%.
The biggest increases were in private and publicly listed companies, with CIOs increasing security budgets by 42% and 41%, respectively, compared with 36% for public sector companies.
“The threat to IT security is persistent and growing, prompting UK organisations to invest more time and money into managing risk,” said Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half Technology.
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The survey revealed that on average 78% of respondents find managing IT security challenging with CIOs at medium-sized companies are struggling the most with 95% citing it as a problem.
With regulation, integration and migration projects putting additional pressure on busy IT departments, Sheridan said it is no surprise that the majority of CIOs find managing IT security a challenge.
“Companies that are struggling may benefit from hiring contract professionals to manage key initiatives,” he said.
According to Sheridan businesses can adjust more easily and quickly to IT security challenges by capitalising on the readily available and highly specialised contract IT skills market to bring in functional experts with the necessary experience to manage increased security requirements.
“It is also likely that companies will increasingly look for permanent staff as it is clear that IT cyber security will be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Regionally, CIOs in London and the south east appear to be the most concerned about IT security and infrastructure.
Almost half have increased their IT security budget, compared with just over a quarter in the South West and Wales.
The research follows earlier findings from Robert Half Technology that 84% of CIOs are either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the risks associated with IT security breaches.