Zambia enterprises growing concerned about IT security
Most Zambia enterprises will increase their information and technology spending this year and beyond, with IT security becoming one of the top five areas where they will put their spending, a recent survey by a think tank on Zambia shows. The survey, which interviewed 150 companies, government agencies and educational institutions across the country between April and May this year, has shown a new trend where IT security has for the first time become one of the enterprises’ top five major IT focuses. In our similar survey three years ago, IT security was not on the list of areas enterprises wanted to spend their IT funds but this year it was prominent. According to the survey, 67 percent of the enterprises will increase their IT spending, with 19 percent of the IT budget going to IT security. It is predicted that IT spending in the country will increase to US$12.8 million this year from $9.6 million last year. Procurement of hardware devices, meanwhile, will still be the main focus of most enterprises. Spending for smartphones, desktops and laptops and tablets are predicted to be allocated 32 percent, 18 percent and 12 percent of the enterprises’ IT spending, respectively. The study shows a growing use of mobile devices by most enterprises in the country had urged them to be more cautious on possible data losses.
With higher enterprise mobility in which lots of data is stored on mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, potential data leaks are getting bigger.The Zambia survey has revealed that a staggering 87 percent of the enterprises are willing to spend more on IT security due to potential data loss concerns. The rising awareness of IT security was also driven by a number of global occurrences in which cyber attacks had massively threatened the credentials of many people, he said. In Zambia, media and communication enterprises had experienced the most data loss. According to one of the report authors whom I spoke to few days ago, it is obvious that media and communication enterprises handle data combined on various platforms, such online and printed, daily and many save their files on thumb drives making them prone to data loss.He also told me that while media and communication enterprises had become the most vulnerable to cyber attack, the enterprises were the most committed to IT security spending, along with banking enterprises and government agencies. However, that despite the growing awareness of the need for IT security, less than 5 percent of the surveyed enterprises knew what sort of data they needed to protect.