According to a recent study, about 72% of all Chief Information Officers (CIOs) believe corporate extortion is the number one security threat facing organizations today. This is the result of a survey conducted by Logicalis Ireland, an IT solutions firm, which covered 890 CIOs from 23 countries in the world. CIOs are very aware of the spread of ransomware, along with the extortion agenda behind the threat. Exploitation of application vulnerabilities is the close second at 60% awareness level. Taking the third place is the perennial problem with social engineering at 58%. The far 4th place is identity theft at 43%. Of all the IT security issues faced by various corporations today, only 30% replied that the inside job is a major problem in the enterprise.

Strong partiality can be seen in the study, given that more than a majority of CIOs believe that real IT risks come from outside their organization and not from the inside. This is evident because internal issues can be prevented and mitigated by a serious IT policy enforcement and credible IT auditing procedures. Employees can be motivated to abide by the terms of their employment and be rewarded for being loyal with the corporate IT policies.

The survey also underscored a sad situation in an organization that CIOs faced, one of every 3 of them experienced the implementation of an IT project being delayed or canceled outright due to associated potential security issues. IT infrastructure and communication bridges are at risk, and these situations halt innovation in the enterprise. Add to that the other usual causes of stagnation in business operations like corporate tradition (56%), operating cost (50%), legacy technological lock-in (44%) and inadequate employee skills (34%).

The modernization of the enterprise is often delayed due to legacy requirements. Last year only 5% of the CIOs consider their firm as technically revolutionary in their industry. CIOs though are aware that progress cannot proceed if there are no innovative actions will be done. 11% of them weres stuck in the past due to the demands of maintaining legacy systems for clients. Fortunately, over 50% of organizations are working on the drawing board for formulating new methods to persuade their board-of-directors in investing in mainstream systems that increase enterprise productivity in the near future.

Realigned with this goal is employee retraining, which covers more than the majority of the cost. Workforce development is a key, especially in the area of security (31%). In Ireland, 34 CIOs participated in the survey and they all expressed affirmatively that IT delivery is a critical component of a business establishment. It can define the enterprise’s future, especially with the utilization of the Internet of Things. The study underscored the very definition of what should be the future concerns in the IT space, and how decision-makers need to fund for their IT spending.

Andrew Baird, CEO of Logicalis Ireland concluded: “It has never been more important for businesses to focus on security. Irish companies may not realize that they are leaving themselves vulnerable to serious threats such as corporate extortion and credential hijacking, the results of which could be catastrophic. It’s vital that organizations take the necessary steps to help protect their infrastructure and assets against cyber-attacks. This will also provide them with the confidence they need to fully embrace digital transformation, something which is needed, with only 5% of CIOs considering their businesses to be digital innovators. However, this is an area where Irish companies should, and can, look to steal a lead on their international counterparts, with over a quarter of Irish organizations having already implemented Internet of Things solutions. Hopefully, we are on the right track to digital enablement.”

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Seasoned writer with a demonstrated history working in areas of information security, digital rights, and education. Skilled in content curation, research, curriculum development, editing, and history. Strong media, marketing, and communications professional with an MA in Education and a BA in from the University of California, Berkeley. Find her on Twitter: @jennjeffers3

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