According to the results of a recent EiQ Networks survey of 272 IT decision makers, an external data breach for financial gain is the biggest information nightmare for 34 percent of respondents, with failing an audit following closely at 31 percent (h/t Help Net Security).

The survey also found that the two biggest challenges in demonstrating compliance are measuring and reporting on compliance (31 percent) and automating IT controls (24 percent).

Still, 36 percent of information security professionals say they meet rarely or never at all with business unit leaders to understand business objectivces and information security needs, and two thirds of information security professionals say their IT security department is understaffed.

Other findings include the fact that misuse by employees is considered the greatest risk facing enterprises today, more than 50 percent of respondents said less than 25 percent of their mobile devices are monitored in real time, and 25 percent of respondents said they don't know how long it would take their organization to find the root cause of a breach.

"The survey results clearly highlight the many burdens that IT professionals are dealing with on a day-to-day basis," Brian Anderson, chief marketing officer at EiQ Networks, said in a statement.