Firms behind the curve on IT risk management, execs say

The good news: Business leaders are increasingly aware of how important IT is to the success of their organizations. But the bad news: 

Most of those leaders admit their organizations are behind the curve when it comes to IT risk management and keeping technology systems safe, secure and operating smoothly.

That’s the word from a recent study by the accounting firm ParenteBeard, which polled senior executives on their attitudes about the influence of IT on their operations and their abilities to manage IT risks.

Those execs are becoming more aware of the trouble the business could be in if technology systems go down or suffer some type of security attack — 42% of survey respondents said that IT success is “inextricably linked” to their overall business success.

Despite that view, many organizations still don’t have the proper systems in place to help ensure that their IT systems are secure from the increasing threat of hackers and data breaches. Among the 70 executives in the manufacturing, distribution and technology industries surveyed, nearly one in five (19%) said their companies are “behind the curve” regarding IT risk management.

In addition, 67% described their IT risk management efforts as simply “average,” and only 15% said they have some kind of audit function to measure IT risk.

The problem could be a lack of awareness — 30% of the executives said they never worry about suffering a data or any kind of data loss. But as IT pros know, those are risks that all organizations face constantly.

However, even among the 30% of organizations that had suffered a security incident in the past, only 6% have made significant upgrades to their IT security.

What it means for IT: Executives are at least aware how much their organizations depend on technology, so they may just require some education on the tools that are available for IT risk management.