Reprisals from former employees and a lack of adequate security budgets rank among the top concerns of senior IT professionals, according to a global survey.

The Ernst & Young survey of 1,900 senior executives worldwide shows that 75% of respondents are concerned with the possible reprisal from employees who have left their organizations. Forty-two percent of respondents are already trying to understand the potential risks related to this issue and 26% are already taking steps to mitigate the risks.

“With the economy still in recession, employees that are made redundant may feel resentful towards their previous employer in a number of ways that may affect the smooth operation of an organization,” says Paul van Kessel, global leader of Ernst & Young’s information technology risk and assurance services practice. “Increasingly, the employer’s IT system has become a common target and data theft is also prevalent."

Allocating adequate budget to information security continues to be a challenge, with 50% of respondents ranking this as a high or significant challenge. Despite this level of concern, only 40% of respondents plan to increase their annual investment in information security as a percentage of total expenditures, while 52% plan to maintain the same level of spending.

Protecting sensitive company data is at the forefront of many IT leaders’ minds. Implementing or improving data leakage prevention technologies (the combination of tools and processes for identifying, monitoring and protecting sensitive data or information) is the second highest security priority in the coming 12 months. Forty percent of respondents rank this as one of their top three priorities.

This story has been reprinted with permission from Employee Benefit News.

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