Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Survey Throws Spotlight on Information Security; BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Survey Throws Spotlight on Information Security; BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL AUSTIN

THREATS to information security are still poorly understood by many businesses. Lapses in information security among UK businesses are poorly recorded and understood, reflecting a lack of understanding of the threat level that organisations face, according to the findings of PricewaterhouseCoopers' annual Information Security Survey 2008.

The findings confirm many of the recent trends and developments in information security that UK organisations have experienced.

Although organisations continue to invest heavily in security tools such as software for intrusion detection, encryption and identity management, they are still struggling with their security processes, the study shows.

Most companies in the sample did not know where their data was located, 37% weren't sure how many incidents they had had and more than half could not say what type of security incident had occurred or what had caused them.

Some 30% of companies had neither measured nor reviewed the effectiveness of their information security policies over the past year.

Confidence about the effectiveness of their organisation's information security activities was also quite low among the UK executives polled.

Less than one in three said they were very confident that their information security was effective while even fewer, less than one in four, felt very confident about the effectiveness of their suppliers' or business partners' security.

The latter is perhaps not a surprising finding given the recent problems that some organisations have encountered over security lapses when third parties have handled their data.

There appears to be an overall misalignment with executive management's view of security, causing many organisations to fail to capture the full value from their spending in this area.

Information has become the new currency of business. Its availability, integrity and confidentiality are crucial components of a collaborative business.

The study also shows that although UK companies have clearly invested heavily in technology, when issues of information security are raised, there is a tendency to focus on purely technical safeguards. …

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