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Security has become a top priority in companies and a huge majority of them expect to see a rise in investments and fund allocations to security-related spending this year, a new study found.

The study’s key findings found compared to the previous years, the numerous security breaches that took place during 2015 had driven the point home in many companies, and many top-level execs have reacted accordingly, according to a study by Absolute Security, which conducted a survey of 501 US IT and security professionals about various topics related to a company’s security practices.

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The survey only included data from professionals at companies that had more than 50 employees and worked in an IT or security role such as IT Director, IT Executive, IT Administrator, ID Manager, or IT Security.

The change in attitude is stems from 97 percent of all respondents said security has become a top priority in their company, and 87 percent even expect to see a rise in investments and fund allocations to security-related spending in 2016.

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Respondents also said security expenses make up 37 percent of their current IT budget, which is a much better number compared to similar studies that came out in 2015, and in studies where security experts didn’t even have a spot on the company’s board, let alone a say in its budget.

The reason IT professionals are paying more attention to their security budget may also be due the fact 38 percent said they’ve experienced a data breach during 2015, 20 percent don’t have any security breach response plan in place, and 33 percent also noticed security protocols aren’t properly followed in their company.

Asked what their primary security concern is, most companies (46 percent) said they fear their own employees. Respondents also identified third-party hackers in 38 percent of the answers, 11 percent pointed the finger at their competitors while 5 percent at their business partners.

In addition, 45 percent of all IT and security professionals said they knowingly circumvented their own security policies while another 33 percent said they hacked their own or another organization.

Broken down per age groups, the last statistic found 41 percent of IT pros between the age of 18 and 44 have a tendency of hacking their own or another company while 12 percent of IT pros of 45 and older engage in such actions.

Click here to download the report.

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