Strained budgets cause severe security cutbacks

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Due to strained budgets, some IT departments are cutting funding for technologies that could help mitigate threats they are most concerned about, according to a survey from RSA Conference, released Wednesday.

The survey of 150 C-level executives and professionals showed budgetary constraints to be the top security challenge facing organizations during the next 12 months. Encryption and key management, authentication and application security are the technologies that will most commonly lose funding, the survey found.

In addition, because of tight budgets, some companies plan to cut funding for technologies that would help mitigate the main security threats they face, according to the survey.

The survey found that 72 percent of respondents have seen an increase in email-borne malware and phishing during the past year. But, at the same time, eight percent of respondents said they plan to cut previously allocated funding for messaging security, email encryption, email security or instant messaging security technologies.

Also, though 40 percent of respondents noted lost or stolen devices as a top security challenge for the next 12 months, 15 percent said they will be cutting budget allocations planned for mobile encryption and wireless security, the survey found.

Other challenges for the upcoming year are: Employee education (for 44 percent of respondents), non-malicious employee error (for 33 percent), executive buy-in and external penetration (for 32 percent of respondents on both).

A different study released in May by VanDyke Software and Amplitude Research found that 46 percent of respondents believe their organization has not sufficiently budgeted to support their current information security needs.

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