IT Pros Say Most Businesses Buy Cyber Tech Based on Cost, Not Security

Ninety percent of survey respondents said their companies had spent money on technology scrapped before, or soon after, deployment.

Most IT professionals say their organizations have invested in security technology that was eventually scrapped, a new survey suggests.

Ninety percent of respondents said their companies had spent money on cybersecurity technology that was shelved before, or soon after, deployment, according to a survey of about 600 IT professionals. In total, about 31 percent of security technology bought by respondents' organizations over the past two years was never fully deployed.

The survey, administered by the Ponemon Institute, was sponsored by Lockheed Martin, which sells its own cybersecurity solutions. Responses were collected between Feb. 18 and March 13, 2015.

Technology wasn’t deployed for several reasons, according to those surveyed. Seventy-seven percent of respondents cited complexity, and 55 percent cited a lack of in-house expertise to deploy and operate products, among other factors.

Business considerations affected technology investments more than security concerns, the survey suggested. About 73 percent of respondents said business objectives were influential in technology purchases, followed by security risk with 68 percent. About 45 percent cited compliance with regulations.

When deciding which technology to invest in, the majority of respondents -- 64 percent -- said cost was an important factor. Fifty-six percent emphasized performance and vendor support. Technical factors such as interoperability, proven risk reduction and lack of complexity were less important, highlighted by 39 percent, 11 percent and 8 percent of respondents, respectively.

Business executives are perceived to have more security technology purchasing power than CIOs, respondents said. When asked who guided purchasing, 59 percent pointed to business unit leaders, 53 percent to CIOs and 45 percent to chief information security officers.

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