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Report: CEOs, CIOs Still On Different Security Pages

Many top executives don't recognize key security issues, study says

CEOs might be more aware of security issues than they used to be, but they still aren't always in sync with IT and security managers, according to a new study issued today.

The study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Ounce Labs, indicates that when it comes to security, there is a gap between the expectations of CEOs and the realities faced by those responsible for implementing it.

For example, 100 percent of CEOs said reducing security flaws within business-critical applications was important or very important, but only 65 percent of C-level privacy and security executives agreed, Ponemon says.

Ninety-three percent of CEOs said identifying and responding to a data breach was important or very important, but only 58 percent of C-level privacy and security executives agreed.

Eighty-seven percent of CEOs said protecting confidential information shared with vendors, business partners, and other third parties was important or very important, but only 48 percent of C-level privacy and security executives agreed.

Although 82 percent of respondents said their organizations have suffered a breach -- and more than half (51 percent) reported attacks occurring on a daily or hourly basis -- 48 percent of CEOs said they believe their organizations are rarely attacked, the study says.

Fifty-three percent of CEOs think the CIO is responsible for data protection, but only 24 percent of other C-level executives hold the CIO accountable for data protection, according to the report. Only 15 percent of executives surveyed felt their jobs would be at risk as the result of a data breach.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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