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The evolving role of the CIO in security

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As you’ll have seen from posts in recent weeks, we’ll soon be unveiling a major piece of research into CIOs’ attitudes towards security that we’re all pretty excited about. Here’s some initial thoughts from me about what to expect.

Chief Information Officers are always faced with the same balancing act when it comes to security. On the one hand, they must maintain sufficient control over their IT resources to protect assets and sensitive data, while on the other hand, they must ensure controls are not so stringent that employees are discouraged from embracing IT and technological innovation, or attempt to bypass them completely.

This dilemma is becoming all the more difficult to handle as technology continues to accelerate. New devices and technologies, such as tablets and the cloud, are making it easier for businesses and individual employees to work more productively and profitably, yet the same levels of sophistication are also being used by criminals to undermine this good work.

It was these issues we wanted to explore when we commissioned this peer level research. We wanted to see how CIOs were reacting to this new set of challenges and how we might be able to respond to their changing needs. So we talked to 100 of the most senior IT leaders in five different areas (across the US, UK, France, Germany and the Nordics) and asked them how they handle security.

What we found was a mixed picture: a group which is concerned by recent high-profile data breaches, but still positive about embracing emerging technologies. They are also still mindful of cost in an environment where many will continue to face budget reductions and are being instructed to do ‘more with less’.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing the results of this research in a series of blog posts or you can download the whitepaper. Keep checking back for the next instalment!

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