3/27/2012
05:43 PM
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Risk And Regulatory Overload

New study finds organizations worried about risk and compliance, but struggling to manage it all



Risk management is a hot topic these days, but it turns out most organizations don't really have much in the way of tools to do it.

According to a new survey by LockPath of 175 compliance and risk practitioners in the U.S., 83.6 percent say the risk level of their organizations ranks as moderate to high, but only about 43 percent have the tools and procedures for managing risk. More than 30 percent run homegrown tools, and 26 percent don't have any tools or procedures to manage risk. Meanwhile, most of these organizations have seen increased regulatory requirements over the past year.

So what gives? "It is crystal clear that, despite what some see as the maturing of risk management programs in the past several years, an alarming number of businesses remain overwhelmed by the number of regulations with which they must comply," said Chris Caldwell, CEO of LockPath, a GRC solutions provider.

Bigger companies see their risk level as higher than smaller ones, the survey found: More than one-fourth of large companies say their risk level is high, versus around 16 percent of midrange-size businesses and 6.5 percent of small to midsize ones. The midrange is ahead when it comes to having established risk and compliance processes, however, with 81.3 percent, followed by large enterprises, with 71.4 percent, and small businesses, 65.4 percent.

Two-thirds of all of the respondents say they don't calculate the costs of compliance efforts.

The healthcare industry appears to be under a lot of stress, although the majority say they do have a risk and compliance process. More than half of the professionals with healthcare organizations say their security risk is high: That's much higher than financial services, with 16.3 percent; utilities, 13.3 percent; and manufacturing, 4.5 percent.

The survey found that the top IT priorities for this year are reducing data breaches and litigation. Also on the list: cutting costs and delivering services more efficiently.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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