According to Telsyte senior analyst, Rodney Gedda, the survey found that CIOs and others would alter their information security strategies in response to the spate of high-profile hacking incidents which occurred in 2011 and, he added, for many Australian CIOs and security engineers the 'dark events of 2011 have turned into a helping hand.'
'Security if often viewed by senior management as an unwanted operating expense, but when the company's reputation and revenue is exposed, as demonstrated so flagrantly last year, security becomes more strategic,' Gedda says.
According to Telsyte's research, security spending is on the up with 29 per cent of organisations planning to increase their budget in 2012. 'With security spending on the up this year CIOs are looking to engage with numerous providers to defend their organisations against increasingly multi-faceted threats,' Gedda adds.
Telsyte also found that while malware and hacks are still king, cloud and mobile are seen as emerging threats, and that the top security priorities for Australian CIOs are stopping malware and preventing external attacks.
The analyst firm also says there is an increasing amount of concern in Australia around the threat mobile devices like smartphones and media tablets pose, as well as cloud computing.
According to Gedda, approximately 20 per cent of CIOs rate mobile and cloud security as a critical priority and around one-third rate them as very important. 'While mobile and cloud security are still relatively low on the security priority list for CIOs, these will become an increasing priority, particularly if there are high-profile incidents relating to these two trends.'
Gedda says that a significant percentage of organisations have experienced at least one information security breach over the past 12 months, indicating threats are very real and require constant defence.
'Mobile security incidents outnumber cloud data breaches, but with the events of 2011 looking to continue this year CIOs need to be prepared for a high-profile security incident outside their organisation's borders.'
Gedda said Telsyte's security research covered the Australian security industry, with more than 40 companies considered including AVG, Barracuda, CA Technologies, Check Point, Cisco, CyberTrust, Dimension Data, Earthwave, EMC/RSA, Entrust, F5 Networks, Fujitsu, IBM, Juniper, Kaseya, Kaspersky, Macquarie Telecom, McAfee, M86 Security, Microsoft, Optus, Symantec, Sonicwall, Sophos, Sourcefire, Telstra, Trend Micro and Webroot.