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Cybersecurity a key priority for PE firms’ IT spend

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Increased protection against growing cybersecurity threats will be a top driver impact private equity firms’ IT spend in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Eze Castle Integration.

The 2016 Private Equity CTO Survey, conducted in partnership with IDG Research, polled 101 senior-level executives.
It found other top drivers of IT spend are a desire to improve the investor/client experience, and the goal of improving efficiencies by refreshing outdated or legacy technology.
Cloud computing was identified by nearly 90 per cent of respondents as a planned investment area, with respondents preferring private cloud solutions over the public cloud.
Seventy per cent of private equity firms surveyed experienced three or more cyber issues in the past year, while 29 per cent of firms experienced five or more issues during the same time frame.
In the past 12 months, firms indicated that they have experienced a wide range of cybersecurity issues, most notably malware, worms and viruses (one in three firms), unauthorised access to corporate data (nearly one in three firms) and hijacking of social media accounts (nearly one in three firms).
While two-thirds of firms expressed confidence that they are prepared to address cybersecurity risks, cybersecurity budget findings indicate that increased spending is necessary to keep pace with the growing threat landscape.
The CTO/top IT executive at private equity firms may be elevating his/her status across the board. Ninety-three per cent of survey respondents believe their firm’s top IT executive is becoming more important to their business, while 85 per cent see the CTO becoming more involved in driving the firm to meet regulatory and compliance demands.
The CTO also serves as the chief information security officer (CISO), with 86 per cent of respondents saying the CTO holds top cybersecurity responsibility. Even at funds with more than USD2 billion AUM, the CTO wears a dual hat.

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