Protecting intellectual property higher priority for execs than protecting customer data: survey

Australia’s IT security professionals believe that protecting a company’s intellectual property is more important to executives than protecting their customers’ data, according to the findings of a new survey performed by the Ponemon Institute.

The study, Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: Australia Part 2, found that despite the fact that there were more known data security breaches involving customer information than any other kind, breaches concerning intellectual property took precedence when it came to increasing spending in security infrastructure.

The study showed that of the top three events respondents said would compel executive teams to spend more money on digital security initiatives, “exfiltration of intellectual property” came in at number one with 65% of respondents naming it in their top three, well over the event of a data breach involving customers’ information, which drew the attention of 58% of respondents.

Almost 90% of respondents said they personally knew another security professional whose company had sensitive or confidential data stolen as a result of an insider threat, with 67% saying that the data stolen by the insider was customer information, and 62% of respondents saying that intellectual property was stolen.

The study surveyed 200 IT and IT security practitioners in Australia with an average of nine years experience in the field. The study was also conducted in 14 other countries.

According to the survey’s findings, a third of data security teams never speak with their executive team about security. Of those that did, 22% spoke to executives about security “semi-annually”.

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