Before IT systems were so heavily regulated by HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI DSS, and countless other state and industry mandates, security managers had to beg, borrow and steal the resources they needed to secure their systems. Then, as regulatory mandates and the need for compliance grew, security professionals had new leverage to use in their fight for budget.
It worked. Rather than asking for investments in security technologies to fight threats that may or may not appear, seeking budget for compliance with industry and government mandates actually got execs to loosen the corporate purse strings. The budget windfall was welcomed, but the dynamic of IT security with the business also was changed forever -- and some say not for the better.
Also see: "APT is the new PCI"