Information Security Survey

PwC India today unveiled an assessment of the state of information security in organisations in India. The study “The State of Information Security Survey -India, 2013’’ is a shot in the arm for businesses seeking to replicate global best practices in information security in India. The report states that 80% of respondents felt confidence in the security behaviours instilled in their organisation. A significant 45% believe that their oraganisation exhibits attributes of information security leader and a whopping 75% respondents from India as compared to 45% of global peers expect an increase in spending on information security. Almost 85% of respondents claimed a strong alignment of their security strategy with their business objectives. On the flip side there is a lag reported in the security strategy around new technologies including mobile devices, cloud and social media.

Reiterating the positive findings of the report Sivarama Krishnan, executive director, PwC India, said, “The smartest organisations in the country are bringing together strategy, technology and market intelligence in a way that stacks them at the top of the information security league tables. This is great news for our services sector, with its strong focus on outsourcing. We are clearly working with global best practices and in some cases doing even better.”

The report states that while financial services companies are striving to maintain leadership in information security practices, telecom, information communications and entertainment companies are gaining ground especially leading in information security strategies for new technologies – mobile, social media, cloud computing etc. Consumer, industrial products and services too are improving their information security capabilities.

Some of the key findings from PwC’s assessment include the following:

  1. 75% of respondents from India, as compared to 45% of global peers expect an increase in information security spending. Consequently with rise in spending, project deferrals are decreasing and overall project budgets are protected. Nearly 60% of respondents claim that information security linked operational and capital expenditures have not witnessed any deferrals in their organisations.
  2. 46% of the respondents reported that economic environment and business continuity/ disaster recovery were primary among the critical factors influencing security budgets. Regulatory compliance is the key justification provided by executives for increase in information security spending.
  3. 45% of respondents rate their organisations highly, saying their companies exhibit the attributes of information security leaders. However, analysis reveals that only 15% of respondents’ organisations reflect attributes of true information security leaders. 80% of the respondents have high confidence levels that their organisations have instilled effective security behaviours in their culture.
  4. While reported security incidents have increased three-folds in India, financial losses due to security breaches have decreased significantly. Yet, data avers that respondents do not measure losses completely.
  5. Technology adoption is moving faster than security implementation for new technologies. Just 46% of respondents have a mobile security strategy, while strategies for the cloud (31%) and social media (37%) indicate lag in adoption rates.

The State of Information Security Survey-India, 2013, is the fifth edition of the survey which PwC has been publishing since 1999. This survey, over the years has chronicled the changing nature of risks, created awareness and driven greater understanding of the information security landscape in India. This year’s survey provides insights and analysis on aspects like information security behaviours in organisations, security priorities, security spending, safeguards and security policies implemented by companies to secure their information assets. The report is based on an analysis of responses from 738 respondents from 17 industries across the country.

This study undertaken as part of PwC’s “The Global State of Information Security Survey, 2013” provides comparative insights between global and Indian trends. While the global mood is sombre, Indian organisations continue to be optimistic about improving their overall security environment through effective strategy and activities. Slight dilution in implementation of information security technology and policy posture is an area of concern which needs to be addressed by corporate India.

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