Surge in IT Security Measures Anticipated in 2015

Survey: Employee Training Top Priority for CIOs in Protecting Company Information

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Chief information officers (CIOs) are taking a multipronged approach to protecting sensitive company information, a new survey by Robert Half Technology shows. The majority of CIOs interviewed are currently taking or planning to take steps in the next 12 months to improve information technology (IT) security at their firms. The most common strategies include beefing up employee training on security issues (53 per cent), vetting firms that have access to company data more closely (31 per cent) and contracting with third-party vendors and adding security tools (31 per cent).

The survey was developed and conducted by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and includes responses from more than 270 CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, "Which, if any, of the following measures is your company currently taking, or planning to take within the next 12 months to enhance IT security? Their responses:*

Currently taking ANY of the following measures

69%

Enhance employee training on IT security issues

53%

Enhance vetting of firms with access to company data

31%

Contract with third-party vendors or add tools to enhance security

31%

Add IT security personnel

22%

Implement multifactor authentication processes

21%

Other measures

1%

Not currently or planning to take any of the measures identified

31%

* Multiple responses were allowed.

"Companies that effectively prioritize their IT protection, understand that it's an ongoing commitment that requires continual enhancements," said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology. "Sound security strategies consist of staying in the forefront of best-practice standards, conducting frequent risk assessments, and implementing adequate employee training and awareness."

Bottineau added, "Having the right people in place to implement these security changes is essential."

A strong organizational communications plan and sound relationships with vendors will help improve security measures, but it all begins with the team responsible for managing those efforts. Robert Half Technology offers the top three attributes of effective security employees and what to ask them when hiring:

  1. Future Focused -- It's important to ensure candidates will be an asset to your security efforts, bringing a broad range of experiences that will allow them to identify vulnerabilities in your network. Use this opportunity to discuss their use of proven methodologies, best practices and risk intelligence in previous roles and try to assess how they would apply them in your company. Ask candidates: "How would you create a security-conscious culture in our business?"
  2. Security Certifications -- A well-rounded security professional will not only take steps to protect the organization, but also to stay ahead in the industry. With so many widely recognized certifications available -- like CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) and CompTIA certifications -- it's not uncommon for candidates to have these on their resumes. While certifications show an investment and commitment to growing their knowledge base, it's important to assess applicants' real-world experience, too. Ask candidates: "How have your security certifications prepared you for this role?"
  3. Soft Skills -- IT security professionals should have impeccable communication skills. Externally, they should be building solid relationships with firms and vendors that have access to company data or may be brought on to help with security efforts. Internally, they should be able to raise awareness to potential threats and explain security measures in a way that will help guide employee behaviors. The prevalence of bring your own device (BYOD) policies, for example, is just one of the many trends that make clear communication skills vital to ensuring companywide compliance. It's essential for security team members to build partnerships across the organization to help increase vigilance throughout. Ask candidates: "What would be your communications approach around security, potential threats and best practices to senior leadership and employees companywide?"

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at rht.com or visit our technology blog at blog.rht.com. Follow www.twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

Image with caption: "CIOs Beef Up IT Security in 2015 (CNW Group/Robert Half Technology)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150212_C6942_PHOTO_EN_12083.jpg

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140, naz.araghian@roberthalf.com


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