Tech firms that proactively root out security flaws are in high demand

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According to a new survey, most organizations would prefer tech providers to be more proactive in securing their offerings.

Around three-quarters of IT security professionals (73%) said their organizations are more likely to purchase technology and services from companies that find, mitigate, and communicate security vulnerabilities proactively.

The survey, conducted by Ponemon Institute and commissioned by Intel looked into what affects an organization’s security technology investment decision-making.

The study of IT security professionals in the US, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, found that 76% of respondents believe it’s highly important their technology provider offers hardware-assisted capabilities to mitigate software exploits.

The report found that 66% of those surveyed said it was highly important for vendors to have the “ability to identify vulnerabilities in its products and mitigate them.” However, only 46% of respondents said their current technology provider has this capability.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said it’s highly important for their technology provider to be transparent about available security updates and mitigations. However, less than half (48%) of respondents say their technology providers have this capability.

The survey found that 74% of respondents said it’s highly important for their technology provider to apply ethical hacking practices to identify and address vulnerabilities in its products proactively.

The report said that of all the capabilities represented in this research, “the most important is the technology provider’s capability to apply ethical hacking practices to proactively identify and address vulnerabilities in its products and to provide ongoing assurance and evidence that the components are operating in a known and trusted state.”

The report also said organizations’ budgets are not sufficient to support a strong security posture. Eighty-six percent of respondents said their IT budgets were only adequate.

Other barriers to security deployment included interoperability (63%), installation costs (58%), system complexity (57%), vendor support hurdles (55%), and issues with scalability (53%).

When it comes to patching, only 30% of respondents said their organizations could patch critical or high-priority vulnerabilities in a week or less. On average, it takes almost six weeks to patch a detected vulnerability. These delays were due to human error (63%), the inability to take applications or systems offline to apply a patch (58%), or not having adequate visibility of affected systems across the organization (52%), the report found.

“Security doesn’t just happen,” said Suzy Greenberg, vice president, Intel Product Assurance and Security. “If you are not finding vulnerabilities, then you are not looking hard enough.”

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.