Are you spending too much on IT security?

Fed up with enterprises using lack of budget as an excuse for not securing data properly, Davey Winder investigates whether organisations could actually do more with less.

According to Mark Heathcote, practice director at IT services firm Xceed, there are three common causes for IT security budgets being spent on the wrong things:

1. The press. Technologies that are being talked up by the media can result in security budgets being redirected into technologies that address one issue, but do not cover other threats.

All information security budget spend should be driven by quantified risk mitigation.

2. Technologies that the information security team find interesting. Just because our trusted specialist staff says we should be doing something, doesn't necessarily mean budgets should be diverted from elsewhere.

3. Vendor-driven proposals. There are many examples of vendors presenting their solutions to CIOs and being greeted by the reaction, we really should have this'. But, stop and think why this threat was not a consideration before and do not be driven to a solution just because it looks like a good thing to do.

"All information security budget spend should be driven by quantified risk mitigation. Not by vendors, not by the press and not by technical staff," Heathcote concludes. "Follow these principles and you will not only reduce the impact of real world threats on the business, but may also reduce how much you spend on it."

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