Boards Of Directors: Security Scofflaws?

A survey of IT professionals finds that nearly half of boards of directors ignore their company's security policies and procedures.

Boonsri Dickinson, Associate Editor of BYTE

May 24, 2012

2 Min Read

IT professionals say senior management at their companies does not follow security procedures. In a survey, IT pros said 42% of directors and senior managers ignore security issues, according to Cryptzone, a worldwide security company based in Europe.

The survey asked 300 IT pros who was most likely to follow security policies. The study found that 56% of senior management think security rules don't apply to them.

Photo By: Picture Perfect Pose

Ironically, it is the board of directors and senior management who have the most sensitive info, not the interns down the hallway. The study discovered others who don't follow security rules. Twenty percent of IT pros blamed senior managers, 17% blamed CEOs, and 20% blamed themselves.

"This is a tough problem. Seeing wanton disregard at a senior level for the policies and procedures put in place to protect an organization is infuriating, and a real challenge for the CISO who must balance the needs of a business with the requirement to protect assets," said Nigel Stanley of Bloor Research, an IT research firm, in a statement.

Proper security training is one possibility for improving the situation. Sixty-five percent of companies offer some sort of security training, depending on the job title. Obviously, everyone doesn't need the same level of training, Stanley said. So how do you not waste time and money?

Cryptzone concluded that the risk of data loss is huge, so IT pros should work on educating employees more. Most of all, the board of directors and managers should be the ones leading the rest of employees, rather than turning a blind eye toward IT procedures.

On that note, have you ever ignored a security risk? How does your company handle security scofflaws?

About the Author(s)

Boonsri Dickinson

Associate Editor of BYTE

Boonsri Dickinson is the Associate Editor of BYTE

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