Most government IT executives believe that IT modernization projects only make their security problems more complicated, according to a blind survey commissioned by Unisys Corp.

While 62 percent of those surveyed rated cybersecurity as their top challenge, 59 percent also believed that IT modernization only created new security challenges, according to 200 federal IT executives polled by research firm Market Connections. And 43 percent rated modernization as “satisfactory” or worse at improving their organization’s cybersecurity.

The results of this survey tell us that many federal agencies may not have adequate staff and resources to manage security challenges in today’s more complex and modernized IT environments, which in our view explains the feedback about modernization efforts exacerbating security challenges,” said Unisys Federal President Venkatapathi Puvvada.

“To achieve successful digital transformation, agencies must make security a priority and embark on projects that enhance security at the core, as well as boost operational efficiency to meet mission-critical goals.”

Interestingly, the survey also revealed another disconnect between modernization and security. When presented with a list of process and technology factors in modernization, only 10 to 16 percent of respondents gave their organizations a top “A” grade in any area. Yet 57 percent rated their agency’s cybersecurity efforts as “A” or “B.”