New regulations have companies turning to risk management

Friday, 6 June 2003, 1:06 AM EST

Regulatory changes are causing financial services and health care companies to lead the way in rethinking the role of information security. The result is that security is finding a new home in the field of corporate risk management.

"We are seeing in financial services and health care a change in how organizations assign security responsibilities," said Gartner Inc. privacy and security analyst Arabella Hallawell, speaking at this week's Gartner Enterprise IT Security and Sector5 infrastructure protection conference in Washington.

In addition to the privacy impact of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the tighter financial controls levied by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will force chief financial officers to take steps to guarantee financial information, she said. The result is likely to be the hiring of chief information security officers (CISO) who are independent of the CIO and who report to the CFO from within the corporate risk management entity.

"The trend is well established in the United Kingdom and Europe, with their more stringent privacy regulations," Hallawell said. Realigning the responsibilities of the CISO is a key driver in the growth in cyberinsurance, which Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner has forecast to grow from $100 million in 2002 to $900 million by 2005.

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