Home Business IT Security Data leaks no longer just IT's problem

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One in four Asia Pacific enterprises suffered a security breach in the last year – slightly ahead of the international rate of 22 per cent. In the next 12 months 22 per cent of Apac organisations expect data leakage to be the single most significant security challenge they face, which calls for a fresh approach to information security according to international IT governance body ISACA.

Jo Stewart-Rattray, a director of ISACA and director of information security at RSM Bird Cameron, said that there was a clear need for a cross functional approach to information security. It was no longer the province purely of the IT department she said, but needed input from departments such as marketing and human relations, especially as more consumer devices and social media percolated into corporate entities.

She said organisations needed to protect themselves by developing and implementing clear policies that governed information access and use, to guard against damaging data leakage. In an era of big data this was particularly important, according to Ms Stewart-Rattray, adding that data leakage was already “very commonplace.”

She said that ownership of the problem was no longer the “sole bailiwick of IT. We need cross functional information security policies,” she said.

She urged organisations to get to grips with ISACA’s recently released COBIT 5 for Information Security, intended as a practical framework to help improve information security policies and processes.

While Asia Pacific businesses were pretty much line ball with their international peers when it came to information security concerns, there were some areas where regional organisations seemed to be doing better. For example while 54 per cent of organisations responding to the global survey said that they did not have enough IT staff to meet their needs, that figure was much lower – 45 per cent – in Asia Pacific.

Similarly where 57 per cent of global organisations reported they were as a result suffering project over-runs, that figure was a much more manageable 41 per cent in this region.

The outlook locally is also more positive, with 54 per cent of regional organisations expecting an increase in their IT investment over the next year, compared to 49 per cent globally, according to the survey which was conducted internationally in March.

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Beverley Head

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Beverley Head is a Sydney-based freelance writer who specialises in exploring how and why technology changes everything - society, business, government, education, health. Beverley started writing about the business of technology in London in 1983 before moving to Australia in 1986. She was the technology editor of the Financial Review for almost a decade, and then became the newspaper's features editor before embarking on a freelance career, during which time she has written on a broad array of technology related topics for the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Boss, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, Insite and Government Technology Review. Beverley holds a degree in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from Oxford University and a deep affection for things which are shaken not stirred.

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