Editor's Note: Software Users Want Change - InformationWeek
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Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
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Editor's Note: Software Users Want Change

Ever participate in one of those team-building sessions where you're first asked to solve a problem by yourself and then review the same problem with a group? Most of the time, the group will solve the problem more accurately than any individual. Chalk one up for the team.

Well, there's a team dynamic building up in the financial-services industry--with others sure to follow--that will likely have more success than any single company's efforts. The goal? More-secure software. With business suffering more downtime as the threat from viruses and worms continues to grow, financial companies are banding together and demanding that software vendors make changes to the way they deal with security.

I'm not talking about a passive "we need more secure software" kind of demand. Rather, a concentrated effort to change the rules--about how vulnerabilities are reported, how they're handled, how software vendors are held accountable, and even how software is developed (see story, "Applying Pressure").

The results of our annual global security survey magnify the need: Security breaches and malicious code are more of a threat this year than last. More companies are experiencing more downtime. Sixty percent of the 7,000 companies in 40 countries we surveyed are spending more on security, about 12% of their IT budgets. And a third of them want software vendors held legally and financially responsible for security vulnerabilities in their products.

Find out how some software vendors are reacting at informationweek.com/996/responses.htm. If you're a software vendor, we'd like to know how you're responding to the problems. You can tell us at informationweek.com/996/survey.htm.

Stephanie Stahl

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

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