GBM survey suggests lack of security investment
Despite high concern over security, GCC companies fail to invest in protection, survey says
Despite 61% of Gulf IT professionals believing that the Middle East is a prime target for cyber-crime, 64% of companies in the GCC invest 15% or less of their IT budgets in security, according to this year's Gulf Business Machines (GBM) Security Survey.
The survey, which polled 1,060 IT professionals across the Gulf, revealed that concern over security was high among GCC companies, and yet many still opt for inexpensive solutions that do not address key security concerns.
For example, 50% of respondents were allowed to connect personal devices at work, and 62% of employers either did not or only partially restricted social media access at work. And while 64% said their employers' main concern around cloud adoption was data security, 41% use free, cloud-based online file storage services at work.
Perhaps most worryingly, GBM said that security incidents caused by internal staff in the past 12 months rose to 58% from 35% last year.
GBM said that the survey results suggested a lack of proper IT security investment in a maturing digital world.
"While more businesses are adopting and embracing social media, internal IT security precautions have not yet caught up with the increase in liabilities caused by employee activity on personal connected devices and associated online activity," said Hani Nofal, director of intelligent network solutions at GBM.
"We know the region is a prime target for cyber-attacks, so companies must redefine internal IT security best practices."