A survey conducted by HackerOne has revealed that IT projects are being stifled due to security concerns. More than 80% of UK CISOs and CTOs who were interviewed revealed software IT projects have been hindered due to concerns over inevitable security issues. 90% also agreed that software vulnerabilities pose a significant risk to their organisation.
“Organisations need to find a balance between driving innovation and keeping data safe,” said Laurie Mercer, security engineer at HackerOne. “It’s not surprising that fear around cyber security is hindering this, but by moving beyond traditional cyber security strategies, businesses can start to feel empowered. When I started writing code, new releases of software would take six months to develop and test. Today, new software is released every hour. This new pace of innovation poses a problem for security teams but, by implementing a strategy that supports continuous security, businesses can ensure they’re on alert for any vulnerabilities that software might have. The key is to ensure that security is constantly evolving.”
Manpower and budgets are also a key concern for security professionals, with 63% believing security team resources are not able to keep up with the pace of development. Lack of budget and other resources including skill sets were also cited as key barriers to creating a well-rounded cyber security strategy by over a third of respondents.
Despite the significant number of concerns around vulnerabilities and limited resources, the survey highlighted that 62% would rather accept the risk of software vulnerabilities than invite unknown hackers to find them, while 63% say they’re only comfortable accepting bug submissions from vetted hackers.
A HackerOne customer and CISO of an international health and beauty retailer said: “I understand first-hand the nature of remaining cautious. As we all know, though, traditional cyber security methods alone are not sufficient. CISOs find themselves in a tricky position, needing to embrace innovation, but while ultimately remaining responsible for cyber security. The security landscape is ever evolving so we need to approach defensive strategies in the same way. By working with ethical hackers, it gives organisations the freedom to work on new projects, spin-up new applications and try different ways of working, while at the same time there’s peace of mind that continuous and ongoing testing is taking place. With ethical hacking, these vulnerabilities can be fixed immediately.”
The research was conducted by Opinion Matters and included input from 200 UK CISOs and CTOs. The findings revealed what CISOs believe to be the biggest risks to businesses, which areas are hindering growth and what kind of technology respondents are likely to implement in order to overcome these challenges.