Special Report: IT security's looming tipping point

Security challenge: Wearing multiple hats in IT

Handling both security and IT duties involves a daily balancing act for the resource-constrained IT organizations that must take this approach. But along with the challenges, there can also be benefits.

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Are you taking on multiple job responsibilities at your company, including some aspects of information security? If so, you’re not alone. At many organizations, IT professionals are being asked to handle a variety of security tasks and functions. For them, wearing multiple hats can create both opportunities and stress.

In a recent online survey of 287 IT and business professionals conducted by CSO, CIO and Computerworld, a majority of respondents (54 percent) said the IT department handles information security at their organization.

In contrast, only 17 percent said that a dedicated group handles information security. An additional 14 percent said information security is handled by a mixed team that includes IT and infosec workers, and 6 percent said their organization has a dedicated security team that includes infosec. That means only 37 percent of the respondents work at organizations with dedicated infosec professionals, which might explain why many organizations have a hard time keeping up with security.

IT in charge - csuite charts6 CIO / Computerworld / CSO

People who wear multiple IT and security hats — or who oversee such workers — aren’t necessarily happy about the situation or what it means for their organizations’ security programs. But they’re finding ways to cope.

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