IT directors are increasingly concerned about financially motivated hackers and data leakage from employee error, as well as IT investment being affected by the economic downturn.
The Secure Computing Biannual IT Director Survey reveals changing views about security threats and investment priorities.
Based on responses from 82 IT directors, the results of October's survey have been benchmarked against responses to the same questions in April.
Thirty two per cent said that the economic downturn has affected their IT investment plans - though a surprising 43% stated the downturn had no effect on their plans.
Internal security remains the main area for IT investment in the coming year, with 35% identifying it as their priority in April, and 37% in October.
In sharp contrast to April, when respondents said their lowest external security concern was hackers (22%), in October, hackers were voted the biggest threat (52%).
Perceptions of insider threats have also shifted. In April, IT directors felt employee fraud was the biggest internal threat (35%). Six months on, their biggest concern is employee error (39%).