According to the annual Global Information Security Survey, performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of CIO and CSO magazines, businesses are increasing their IT spending to focus on security.

The survey polled 12,847 executives internationally, finding that 67 percent of respondents are prioritizing security in their budgets and day-to-day activities. IT leaders are also realizing that security concerns are becoming increasingly complex, requiring assistance from outside sources.

Cloud computing is one of the primary reasons for the increased focus on security. Despite general uncertainty about how businesses will provide security in the cloud, the costefficiency and agility of the technology have pushed companies to consider the cloud.

Respondents to the survey explained a lack of confidence in cloud computing. Specifically, 62 percent of executives said they had minimal trust in the cloud's safety. Even businesses that already have moved into the cloud, 49 percent of respondents, lack confidence, with 39 percent of them still insecure about cloud computing, even though they already use it.

James Pu, CIO for the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, explained, "as good as [cloud computing] is today, you don't have the same reliability as you have with a local-area network. When data goes into the cloud, all it takes is a software bug to accidentally reveal my data."

Larry Bonfonte, CIO of the United States Tennis Association, explained why the USTA is concerned with cloud security. Despite the company's adoption of cloud computing for most of its systems, the USTA does not trust cloud providers with customer information. Bonfonte told the news source that approximately 80 percent of ticket purchases are made online, and the association is not willing to allow cloud providers any access to that data.

Despite the security concern, the USTA has moved most of its systems to the cloud, lowering the company's environmental impact, freeing IT workers as they no longer have to maintain as many in-house data servers.

Computerworld's survey also found that CIOs are concerned with any third-party interaction. When businesses collaborate, they often gain some access to each other's systems. Companies have a difficult time trusting other organizations to maintain high security standards, and are subsequently increasing spending on their own security.

Organizations are worried that business partners and suppliers will cut their IT budgets due to the slow economy. In many cases, security is one of the first areas to get pruned. Overall, 77 percent of respondents said their partners have been weakened by the recession.