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21.10.2008 Technology

Information security, key to companies'growth — an Ernst & Young research fin

By Our Reporter -

Companies worldwide will continue to invest more money in information security, going forward, and were increasingly adopting international security standards, according to advisory firm Ernst & Young.

The firm, which released its 2008 Global Information Security survey on Wednesday, said that a growing number of companies were seeing a link between information security and the effects a security breach could have on their brand or reputation.

“We believe that organisations recognise that security cutbacks would have an adverse effect on stakeholder perceptions.

Most also believe that security threats and attacks increase during an economic downturn,” commented Ernst & Young technology security risk services global leader Paul van Kessel.

Of the 1 400 respondents, 85 per cent believed that a security breach would have a significant impact on their company's reputation or brand, while 72 per cent also listed the possible loss of revenue as a significant concern.

Only 68 per cent listed regulatory sanctions as a concern.

Nevertheless, 67 per cent of respondents said that they had already implemented controls to protect personal information.

Further, Ernst & Young said that 50 per cent of the respondents were planning to further increase their budgets for security, with only 5 per cent of respondents planning to decrease the amount they spent on security.

Van Kessel stated that a good brand and reputation could be severely damaged or even destroyed by a single security incident.

He asserted that, while most improvements in information security had stemmed from regulatory compliance over the past few years, the desire to protect their brand and reputation was motivating companies to do more than “just tick regulatory and corporate compliance boxes”.