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January/February 2010

Perspectives: Pet information security risks

According to a published report, seven out of 10 companies overspend on IT security expenses without improving security or becoming compliant. What causes this phenomenon? Isn't overspending on security a good thing? The cause is the introduction and promotion of "pet" risks by decision makers. A pet risk is a threat, vulnerability, or product that solves an apparent problem in the minds of IT or security managers. It's their favorite issue, consuming all their attention and therefore, requiring an overabundance of resources to mitigate. In what is a common occurrence for many large organizations, decision makers get in their minds that they need a specific product to prevent what they perceive is an information security risk. IT and security leaders in the organization spend many dollars and hours to get solutions in place to mitigate their pet risks. However, the return on security investment (ROSI) isn't readily apparent and often, the expense isn't worth the apparent risk. It's like a person who's so fearful of having their ...

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