Years of investment pay off as Asia leads the world in the security focus and performance. Among all regions, Asia has the fewest respondents who expect a decrease in security budgets this year. In fact, roughly 60% of Asian respondents expect to see an increase over the next 12 months. That’s down from 74% in 2011, but still among the highest of any region.
Asia respondents also put their organisations at or near the top of global averages in terms of security and privacy technology deployment, and also in terms of process. As for keeping up with new challenges, Asia rates highly for mobile security initiatives and cloud security strategy.
Security budgets are almost flat in North America, but certain strategies show gains. Responses from North American organisations indicate that they are the best in the world at staying on plan when it comes to IT projects. Based on their survey responses, they are the least likely to defer capital or operational projects, and the deferrals that do happen tend to be shorter than those in other regions. And North American firms are the least likely to cut budgets for capital and operational projects.
Other areas in which North American respondents indicate superior performance when measured against peers include the vital areas of mobility, social media, and the cloud. While progress in these realms still lags the adoption rates of the technologies, North America ties with Asia for the lead in cloud security strategy and is tops in mobile and social networking security—the latter by a considerable margin.
As spending stalls in Europe and safeguards weaken, some security practices are improving. Expectations for budget growth are higher than North America, but Europe also leads every region except the Middle East and South Africa in respondents looking at lower budgets (14%). Both security spending and security policies are less well-aligned with business goals than in other established regions.
Europe does lead the world in the percentage of firms that employ chief privacy officers or the equivalent, and also rates highly in terms of employing CISOs and chief security officers (CSOs). However, these executives report to the top of the house less often than in the three other leading regions.
South America plays catch-up on security investments and emerges as a leader in some important categories. More than 60% of respondents expect to see their security budgets increase in the next 12 months, including the highest proportion in any region expecting very large budget increases of 30% or more. Conversely, deferrals and cuts to project budgets are more frequent than in most other regions.
The surge of investment comes as tough economic times were beginning to deplete the region’s security arsenal. Now South American respondents are at or near the top of global rankings for confidence in security culture and the effectiveness of security activities. In terms of privacy and security technologies, South America tends to outscore Europe and in some cases has surpassed North America.