According to the association, which has more than 95,000 members worldwide, compliance is set to be a key issue for IT security professionals for the remainder of this year.
The survey, which took in responses from more than 2,400 IT security specialists around the world, disovered that the business issues that traditionally challenge ISACA members – such as compliance, governance and information security management – continue to dominate the landscape.
But, researchers found, the increase in regulations, data breaches and new technologies – such as cloud computing and the rise of personal technology in the workplace – are accelerating complexity and risk.
The top priority amongst IT security professionals, says ISACA, is regulatory compliance, followed by enterprise-based IT management and governance and information security management.
Fourth position in the importance stakes was taken by disaster recovery/business continuity, tracked by the challenges of managing IT risks and vulnerability management.
Commenting on the report's findings, Tony Noble, a member of the association's guidance and practice committee, said that this year's survey shows more clearly than ever that IT cannot be managed in a vacuum.
"From the growing number of government regulations to consumer privacy concerns to hacktivist attacks, enterprise IT assets are being challenged in ways that go far beyond the server room", he said.
"The study also reveals a marked perception that the business side of the organisation believes IT is managed in a silo, which indicates an opportunity for better aligning business with IT to unlock greater value", he added.
Noble went on to say that occurrences such as WikiLeaks, the Zeus botnet and an overall rise in identity theft show in 2010 that the variety and volume of threats is on the upswing.