The importance of IT security has permeated the boardroom: Three quarters of Dutch companies now see the board as the main champion of security

New Rackspace technology research shows that IT security is a bigger concern for executives than inflation and a shortage of IT talent

New research from Rackspace Technology reveals the impact of global threats to the IT environment over the past five years on the relationship between IT security teams and organizational boards.

A large majority of Dutch directors (62%) now consider IT security attacks to be one of their biggest concerns. This is according to the second edition of Rackspace Technology’s Cybersecurity Annual Research Report. It has thus become the number one priority for them, even before inflation (46%) and shortage of IT talent (46%).

This result is reflected in the evolving relationship between IT security teams and boards. 69% of respondents believe that security teams are more on board than they were five years ago. Three-quarters (75%) of them now consider management to be champions of IT security.

Communication between the two teams is also generally strong, with 82% of respondents saying there are few communication silos. More than seven in ten (72%) of them believe that senior management and IT security teams work together on a regular basis.

Rob Treacey, Rackspace Technology’s Head of EMEA Security, said: “It is very encouraging that IT security is now being prioritized at board or executive level, but this also reflects the scale and severity of the challenges many organizations currently face against due to threats to the IT environment.

“In the past, we have all too often seen IT security teams in organizations undermined or placed in a separate position when their voices should be heard. So it’s no surprise that IT security is at the heart of the business now that senior leaders finally understand the need to to keep hackers out and the potentially devastating consequences if they don’t.”

Increasing investments

With more focus on high-level IT security, the importance of increasing funding is also recognized. Almost eight out of ten Dutch organizations (79%) are currently increasing investments in IT security. The average annual investment in IT security in the Netherlands is now $5.18 million. Although this is below the global average of $6.12 million, 12% of organizations commit at least $10 million per year.

The latest challenge is determining how best to use this increased funding. This is especially true in a tighter labor market and with higher costs for specialized IT skills. The Dutch respondents consider a lack of expertise (47%) as the most common reason for an organization to rely on external security firms, followed by labor (38%).

Now that a large part of their business activities take place in the cloud, almost two-thirds (64%) of Dutch organizations are investing in cloud-native security, a specialized area of ​​IT security.

“IT security teams don’t have to fight for more investment now that leaders are so convinced of the need,” continues Treacey, achievable by making smart decisions.

“Many organizations lack the skills or manpower to deal with the threats they are likely to face. They are also struggling to find them in a shrinking labor market. While it is encouraging to see leadership. If you take security issues seriously, there are still real challenges to ensure organizations keep threats to the IT environment at bay.”

The full research report in English is available via this link.

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