Survey Finds IT Security Still Hot

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As the number of devices connected to networks continues to explode, and workforces become increasingly mobile, security has become the hot-button issue for everyone from the technicians responsible for systems and networks to the business owners whose organizations might be threatened by a security breakdown.


A recent survey by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) confirms this. The poll of more than 1,100 technology professionals found 24.3 percent think security technologies will have the greatest impact on their organizations this year. Security ranked second in a similar CompTIA poll in 2006.


“It seems that every week, there is another news story about an organization that’s suffered a significant security breach,” said Brian McCarthy, CompTIA chief operating officer. “The heightened risk associated with breaches and the growing list of regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPPA have raised the security-awareness level within organizations of all sizes.”


Placing second in CompTIA’s survey was wireless data, with 13.1 percent of technology professionals selecting this as potentially having the greatest impact on their businesses this year.


“It demonstrates the importance of mobile computing today,” McCarthy said. “The workforce is more mobile than ever. Whether it’s a laptop computer, a PDA, a smart phone or a BlackBerry, mobile workers want access to the same data and applications that they have when they’re in their offices.”


Web 2.0 placed low in the poll, with just 6.9 percent of respondents selecting it. This might seem surprising, given the amount of lip service Web 2.0 sees from industry, consultants and publications.


McCarthy said that often, the discussion and hype surrounding a new product, solution or technology outpaces its actual usage in the marketplace, but it still indicates movement toward that idea.


“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Web 2.0 place among the top five when we do this poll again a year from now,” he said.


Open-source solutions were another much-discussed technology that didn’t receive too much response in the survey, with just 8.5 percent selecting this as potentially having the greatest impact on their businesses this year.


But McCarthy sited information from other industry sources that suggests open source is gaining momentum — he pointed to a new study from IDC that found that the adoption of stand-alone open-source software is accelerating, and the total market will be worth $5.8 billion in 2011. IDC sized the open-source market at $1.8 billion in 2006 and predicted it will grow at 26 percent annually for the next four years.

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