CIOs prioritizing IAM over endpoint security and security awareness training

CIOs are prioritizing identity and access management (IAM) over endpoint security and security awareness training in 2020, according to a Hitachi ID survey.

CIOs prioritizing IAM

The survey, focused on changes in IT spending in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, reveals that cybersecurity is IT leaders’ top focus for the rest of the year—and half of those surveyed are increasing their budgets to support their goals.

The pandemic has upended most businesses’ 2020 plans, with 70% of CIOs reporting their long-term priorities have shifted since the start of the year. Now, 89% said they’re focused on cybersecurity, while 82% are working on remote enablement.

Their goals reflect these new priorities: 86% said they’re aiming to improve security standards across their environment, while 80% are making their tech stack more flexible for remote and on-premise users. In addition, 75% said they were hoping to keep their IT infrastructure and tool stack up to date.

CIOs expect their budgets to increase in 2020

While budgets are tight for half the respondents, who don’t expect an increase in spending, the other half of CIOs expect their budgets to increase in 2020 to reflect shifts in IT. Some 33% anticipated a 5% increase, 13% foresaw a 5-10% increase, and 9% expected an increase greater than 10%.

To achieve their security and remote enablement goals, 43% of CIOs are investing in IAM, ahead of endpoint security (34%) and security awareness training (17%).

“Prioritizing IAM makes sense. CIOs have been waking up to the fact that most hackers don’t break down the gate—they just unlock it because they already have the keys,” said Kevin Nix, CEO at Hitachi ID.

“Bad actors have been focused on stolen credentials, phishing attacks, and social engineering, especially since the pandemic forced so many employees to work remotely. We’ve seen a new urgency among companies looking for IAM solutions. Last year, businesses might plan to adopt IAM over a year or two. Now they need it next quarter.”

CIOs prioritizing IAM

Other findings

  • 67% of CIOs say they’re more willing to invest in emerging technologies
  • 88% of respondents at companies with 500-1000 employees were planning to invest in emerging technology, the most of any size category. Just 45% of those at companies with 5,000 to 10,000 employees said the same, the lowest of any category.
  • 87% would consider emerging security technology in 2020, while 71% would consider emerging AI and machine learning technology

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August 14, 2020