Tough year for CSOs

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Security professionals believe their job has become more difficult compared to last year as they grapple with compliance issues and risk of data loss, according to a survey at Thursday's CSO Interchange in Chicago.

About 60 security executives attended the event, which was the third CSO Interchange, a forum organized by former White House cybersecurity adviser Howard Schmidt and Qualys CEO Philippe Courtot to provide a way for CSOs to meet and exchange ideas.

Throughout the event, attendees participated in an interactive survey in which they voted via small keypads. Seventy-five percent said their jobs have become more difficult than they were last year.

Although nearly all feel their organizations are prepared to handle viruses and spam, 88 percent believe their companies are least prepared to deal with inadvertent loss of data, social engineering and inappropriate use.

Also, 64 percent of attendees said they were more concerned about compliance this year than last and 74 percent said their organization must comply with more than five laws and regulations. Sixty-eight percent said their security budget is less than ten percent of their organizations' total IT budget.

The event featured keynotes by security executives from General Motors, Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University, and Pershing on topics such as outsourcing and regulatory compliance. Attendees also participated in several roundtable discussions on issues that included mobile security, the changing role of the CSO, and an early cybersecurity warning system.

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