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Businesses fail to take IT security seriously

UK Security and IT Managers feel their companies do not have processes in place to deal with legal changes, a survey has revealed.

Most IT managers are badly prepared for managing IT security and compliance issues, according to a survey carried out for software developer NetIQ.

In the survey, carried out by EMedia using 218 UK Security and IT managers, 51 per cent said they believe their companies are not ready for compliance with legal changes.

A further 40 per cent said that upper management were paying lip service to IT security just to gain compliance status. In terms of the legislation that will affect their operations, 57 per cent said that internal staff do not understand it. Also, 29 per cent of respondents said their companies' business objectives are not aligned with security policies.

These changes include European regulations like MIFID (the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), which will liberalise financial markets and introduce new and more extensive requirements that firms will have to adapt to for their conduct of business and internal organisation. MIFID replaces the existing Investment Services Directive (ISD) and comes into effect on 1 November 2007.

"Risk management requires companies do more than simply investing in the relevant technology. It is imperative that IT and security managers are able to communicate at senior board level and that security is no longer just a cost item on the balance sheet" said Ulrich Weigel, security products director at NetIQ.

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