IT Pros Most Feared Consequence of Data Breach is Not Workload

IT Pros Most Feared Consequence of Data Breach is Not WorkloadAccording to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.  –Jerry Seinfeld

In a recent article based on a study by Stollznow for Imation, they reported that an IT professional’s worst fear about a data breach is the amount of extra work they’ll have to do. Then they go on to state that the extra work worries them more than even losing their jobs or their company’s clients.  How absurd! Painting IT professionals as such a selfish group of people founded on an inaccurate statistic is completely bogus.

The statistics reported by Stollznow says that 61% of the surveyed feared the amount of work involved in fixing a data-breach, while only 49% cared about the business losing customers, and 34% were concerned that they might lose their jobs over the breach. Since the numbers don’t add up to 100%, we can assume they didn’t ask IT professionals, “Select your top concern: A, B, or C?” In other words, they were not given the choice to choose one over the other, rather they were probably asked to freely list their concerns. So to degrade the professionalism of IT pros to “Their personal concern is more about, ‘Gee, I’ve got to do some work!’” is clearly unfair.

This reminds me of the popular study from the 1977 “Book of Lists” that shows a list of people’s fears given off the top of their head, and more people happened to mention public speaking than death. One could then falsely conclude that because people may actively fear public speaking more frequently than they actively fear death, their fear of public speaking is stronger than their fear of death.  But this is not accurate.  If people had to choose between the two, I’m sure that the statistic would be different. Similarly, if IT security professionals were given the choice between a, b, or c, we would most certainly see that their company’s best interest after a data breach and their jobs that would be on the line would be far more urgent and importantto them than the amount of work it would take to repair the issue.

In fact, since coming to ObserveIT I work with IT professionals from dozens of Fortune 500 companies on a daily basis, as they are my customers from around the world, and their main concern, first and foremost, is protecting their company’s data at the highest level possible, with their customers held in their best interests.  Of course, at some point along the line, they may dread the work that needs to be done to correct the data breach, but I highly doubt that this concern would ever trump the latter.