83 Percent of U.S. IT Security Pros Feel Pressure to Unveil Projects Before They're Ready

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A recent Trustwave survey of 1,414 information security professionals worldwide found that fully 77 of respondents say they're pressured to unveil IT projects that aren't security ready. In the U.S., that's true for 83 percent of respondents.

In general, the survey found, 63 percent of information security professionals felt more pressure to secure their organizations in 2015 than in the previous 12 months, and 65 percent expect to feel even more pressure to do so in 2016.

A shortage of security expertise is the third-biggest operational pressure respondents face, behind advanced security threats and the adoption of emerging technologies -- 52 percent of respondents would like to double their staff from its current size, and 29 percent of respondents would like to quadruple it.

Seventy-four percent of respondents said they feel pressure to select security technologies containing all the latest features, and 40 percent of respondents said they feel the most pressure regarding their security program in general either directly before or after a company board meeting.

"Security professionals live in a unique and stressful environment, defined by conflict with faceless attackers as well as internal threats," Trustwave chief marketing officer Steve Kelley said in a statement. "Businesses rely on information security more than ever before and the pressure to show measurable success is taking a toll on security practitioners."

Forty-six percent of respondents said their organization has suffered a data breach, 48 percent haven't experienced a breach, and 6 percent aren't sure whether they have or not.

Following a data breach, respondents' top concern is customer data theft (43 percent), followed by intellectual property theft (22 percent), reputation damage (13 percent) and website disruption (13 percent).

Separately, a Scalar Decisions survey of 654 Canadian IT and IT security practitioners, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, found that only 37 percent of respondents believe they're winning the cyber security war.

Respondents said they experience an average of 40 cyber attacks per year, and 51 percent acknowledged having suffered a loss or exposure of sensitive information within the past year as a result.

Eighty percent of respondents said the severity level of cyber attacks has increased over the past year, 71 percent said the sophistication level of cyber attacks has increased, and 70 percent said the frequency of targeted cyber attacks has increased.

The primary challenges to achieving a strong security posture, the survey found, are insufficient personnel and lack of in-house expertise.

"IT leaders are feeling less equipped to handle the changing landscape of cyber crime," Scalar Decisions CTO for security Ryan Wilson said in a statement.

Recent eSecurity Planet articles have offered advice on improving database security and on securing corporate data in a post-perimeter world.