Security is a top priority for businesses despite the economic downturn, says Howard Schmidt, president and chief executive of the Information Security Forum (ISF).
"Many organisations have realised that data is the most important business asset in the modern world," he told an ISC2 security conference in London today.
This is driving a move away from simply strengthening the security of IT systems to concentrating on the data itself and reducing the vulnerabilities.
Priorities for security professionalsinclude developing and using applications that are more securely designed and written.
"As long as we are producing and using software with inherent security vulnerabilities we will continue to live in the past," said Schmidt.
Another important area for IT security is developing effective ways to lock down mobile computing devices.
"There could be more than two billion mobile devices in use by business organisations in the next few years and these need to be secured," he said.
According to Schmidt, organisations should look to governance, risk and compliance processes to protect them through the economic downturn.
"Keeping these three things in mind is the only way IT professionals can meet business needs while protecting organisations' data assets with less money to throw at the problem," he said.