Telecom Tops Other Sectors in Cisco Security Study

Confidence in security processes and practices is riding high among telecom industry executives, judging by the latest annual security report from Internet equipment giant Cisco.

A survey of some 1,738 CISOs and "SecOps" managers that Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) carried out for the report showed that professionals in the telecom and energy sectors have far more confidence in security measures than peers in a range of other industries.

It appears that 62% of executives in the telecom and energy sectors "strongly" agreed their security processes were "optimized," compared with just 50% of those in financial services and 52% of employees in the government sector.

Cisco also found that professionals in the telecom and energy industries were a lot more sophisticated in terms of their security practices than employees elsewhere. Although it does not necessarily mean their organizations are more secure, energy companies had particularly well-documented processes and procedures for "incident tracking," said the equipment maker.

By contrast, security practices in the financial services and government sectors remain relatively unsophisticated, according to survey results.

Telecom executives also stood out as the group most likely to say the security infrastructure on which they rely is "up to date", with about one third of all survey respondents complaining they are not equipped with the "latest-and-greatest" tools, even though their security technologies are regularly upgraded.

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Cisco also classed nearly half (47%) of telecom organizations it studied as "highly sophisticated" on the basis of security processes -- more than in any other industry bar energy, which also scored 47%.

The laggards in that respect turned out to be chemical engineering, with just a quarter of organizations in this industry deemed highly sophisticated, and pharmaceuticals, which scored a slightly better but still disappointing 31%.

Security is becoming a critical issue for organizations of all shapes and sizes amid a recent increase in cyber crimes and concern about the impact of hacking attacks on company fortunes.

In a particularly high-profile case, an attack on Japan's Sony in November last year caused untold embarrassment for the company after commercially sensitive information found its way online.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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