IT Sector Split on Security of Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Survey reveals IT and security managers can't tell whether technologies have improved or hurt the security of data.

A recent report suggests that moving to virtualization and cloud computing isn't necessarily making network security easier. In fact, a survey of 2,100 IT and security managers in 27 countries revealed just how divided many feel on the matter.

The "2010 State of Enterprise Security Survey -- Global Data" report, conducted by Applied Research on behalf of Symantec (SYMC), reveals that nearly one-third of those asked believe virtualization and cloud computing make security "harder," while another third believe it to be "more or less the same." The remainder said it was "easier."

The survey covered 120 questions about technology use and cyberattacks on organizations.

The survey showed that the median annual budget for enterprise security in 2010 is $600,000, an 11% increase over 2009, and another 11% increase is expected for 2011. Despite that budget growth, respondents, who come from a variety of sectors, from banking, healthcare, and telecommunications as well as local and federal government agencies, often indicated they had a hard time finding and retaining security personnel.

Organizations on average assigned 120 staffers to IT and compliance matters, with larger enterprises of 5,000 or more assigning 232. But much of the time this was seen as insufficient, with 51% of respondents saying finding qualified applicants was a "huge" or "big" problem.

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