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Canadian executives lead global counterparts in concern for security of networks

A majority of Canadian corporate executives report that computer security is now the single most critical attribute...


July 15, 2004  


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A majority of Canadian corporate executives report that computer security is now the single most critical attribute of corporate networks, according to a new global survey and report on networking and business strategy from AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit(EIU).

The survey results show that 87% of Canadian respondents identified security as the top concern for corporate networks, compared to 78% of executives worldwide.

Overall, security moved to the top of the list from its number two spot in the 2003 survey, replacing network reliability and availability as the most critical network attribute.

The EIU survey of 254 senior executives worldwide on the future of corporate networking reported that although businesses worry about security, the vast majority of executives want to further open up their networks to partners, customers and mobile workers.

“In a global networked economy of Internet connectivity and interoperability, isolation leads to irrelevance for enterprises that can’t protect their networks,” says Hossein Eslambolchi, president of AT&T Global Networking Technology Services.

“Unless security is managed effectively, executives are right in thinking that cyber attacks may yet prove the toughest threat to the sustained development of the networked enterprise.”

The worldwide impact of cyber attacks has grown steadily from $3.3 billion in 1997 to an estimated $12 billion in 2003, according to Computer Economics in Carlsbad, Calif.

On average, the firms in the survey dedicated 9% of the IT budget to network security in 2002. That figure rose to 11% last year and is expected to reach 13% in 2004.