Justifying Improvements Is Security's Biggest Challenge
January 9, 2020 – Security practitioners still frequently struggle to show the value of security programs and improvements, according to new survey results released this month by the Security Executive Council.
In October, the Security Leadership Research Institute (SLRI), the SEC’s research arm, asked security practitioners to identify the three biggest challenges their departments face. The number one challenge, chosen by 70% of respondents, was justifying the resources to improve or expand security programs.
"We weren't surprised at the top finding," says Kathleen Kotwica, the EVP and Chief Knowledge Strategist for the SEC and Principal Analyst of the SLRI. "We've heard from many security practitioners that they're being pushed by the business to show the value of programs, which is what this challenge is really about."
But there were other responses the SEC expected to rank higher in the survey than they did. For instance, only 16% of respondents listed gauging the contract officer program's performance as one of the top three challenges they face.
"It's interesting, because in many companies that's the biggest part of the security budget," says Kotwica. "The fact that it's not a front-of-mind challenge for many security leaders may mean that it's being treated as a set it and forget it expense – meaning they're not thinking about whether it can be done better or more efficiently.
"We've worked with clients on guard force efficiencies who have ended up saving millions of dollars on contract guard programs, so we know that savings is often there, but perhaps too few security leaders are looking for it."
Just over 40% of respondents chose designing clear program plans or roadmaps as one of the top three challenges, followed by bringing core programs to adequate or leading practice levels that keep pace with business change (37%).
For the full results, including insightful participant commentary, visit https://www.securityexecutivecouncil.com/spotlight/?sid=31922.
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