Staffing Shortages Keep IT Executives Awake at Night

Survey shows tech leaders worry about regulatory compliance and security.

Concerns over compliance burdens and IT staffing shortages are enough to keep IT workers up at night, according to a new study.

A survey of 272 IT decision makers in industries including government by security company EiQ Networks found that regulatory compliance continues to remain a top concern among IT professionals, so much that it is keeping them up at night. While respondents said their biggest IT security nightmare is an external data breach for financial gain (34 percent), not far behind were concerns over failing an audit (31 percent).

Most surveyed also cited concerns over the expertise and experience of their staffs to handle a security breach. Just 27 percent said their staff was very experienced and prepared, while 58 percent said they were only somewhat prepared and 10 percent said they were not prepared at all.

This lack of preparedness may be a result of a lack of security training to employees, which 9 percent of respondents cited as the greatest risk to the enterprise. Other top risks were misuse by employees (16 percent), application vulnerabilities (16 percent), malware (14 percent), lack of proactive security monitoring (13.2 percent) hackers (10 percent) and bring your own device programs (9 percent).

Unsurprisingly, most IT security professionals do not believe their departments are adequately staffed. Just 23 percent said they have the right amount of people, while 67 percent said they could use additional staff.

In addition, many IT security workers also are not getting much face time with leaders in the organization to discuss business objectives and IT security needs. More than one-third (36 percent) said meetings with top business executives happen either infrequently or never, while 56 percent said meetings happen at least quarterly.