Improving Network Security Top Priority in 2005, Survey Finds

Feb 25, 2005

MENLO PARK, CA -- Facing an ever-growing array of threats to corporate information systems, technology executives now see enhancing network security as job one, a new survey shows.  Thirty-five percent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled said improvements to network security are their highest priority.  Operating-system upgrades were the second-most frequent response, cited by 16 percent of executives.

The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs were asked, “Which of the following initiatives are the highest priorities for your IT department in the next 12 months?”  Their responses:

Network security improvements   35%
Operating-system upgrade/installation   16%
Database upgrade/installation   15%
Customer relationship management   15%
Data storage and backup   13%
Hardware purchases   11%
Wireless communications   10%
ERP upgrade/installation   8%
Development of e-business applications   6%
Other/don't know   8%

(Multiple responses were allowed.)

“Security is moving from being regarded as largely a defensive measure to one that has become an integral part of systems design,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology.  “The increasing sophistication of threats, along with new security requirements mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other government regulations, means that ensuring network security now demands a proactive, enterprisewide strategy.”

Lee also pointed out that the growing importance of information security translates into increased employment opportunities for highly skilled professionals.   “As this issue moves to the forefront, firms that had included security as part of the network administrator’s role, in many cases, are creating new positions focused entirely on this function,” she noted.

With more than 100 locations in North America and Europe, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network engineering and technical support.  Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at

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