More than three quarters (78%) of CIOs find managing IT security a challenge for their business, according to new research from Robert Half Technology1. This figure rises to almost all (97%) of the CIOs surveyed in medium sized businesses.
With the cost of cybercrime to the UK currently estimated to be between £18 billion and £27 billion2, IT security has become a growing concern for UK organisations. Indeed, four in 10 (40%) CIOs have increased their company’s security budget compared to three years ago and of those, more than a half (55%) have increased it by more than 25%.
Regionally, CIOs in London and the South East appear to be the most concerned about IT security and infrastructure. Almost half (48%) have increased their IT security budget, compared to just over a quarter (29%) in the South West and Wales. The research follows earlier findings from Robert Half that 84% of CIOs are either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the risks associated with IT security breaches.
On average, CIOs are spending almost a quarter (23%) of their time managing IT security and 37% say it has increased “somewhat” or “significantly more” compared to three years ago. Private and publicly listed companies seem to be the most concerned about IT security with CIOs increasing their security budgets by 42% and 41%, respectively. This compares to only 36% for public sector companies.
Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half Technology said: “The threat to IT security is persistent and growing, prompting UK organisations to invest more time and money into managing risk. CIOs themselves are now spending more than one full day a week focused exclusively on IT security during a period where organisations are already doing more with less, with regulation, integration and migration projects putting additional pressure on busy IT departments. It is therefore 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. By capitalising on the readily available and highly specialised contract IT skills market, businesses can adjust more easily and quickly to IT security challenges, and bring in functional experts with the requisite experience to manage increased security requirements. It is also likely that companies will increasingly look for permanent staff as it is clear that IT cybersecurity will be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future.”