Oceania security teams still understaffed


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 06 October, 2023

Oceania security teams still understaffed

Despite the growing size and scale of the security threat, the majority of cybersecurity teams in Oceania remain understaffed and underfunded, according to new research from professional association ISACA.

Across the region, 65% of security leaders report that they are struggling with understaffing and 61% report having somewhat or significantly underfunded cybersecurity budgets, ISACA’s annual ‘State of Cybersecurity’ research report for 2023 found.

Only 36% of Oceania respondents to a survey conducted for the report have a high degree of confidence in their cybersecurity team’s ability to detect and respond to cyberthreats, and 78% say most organisations are still under-reporting cyber attacks.

The report indicates that 50% of cybersecurity leaders have job openings for non-entry level positions and 21% are having trouble filling even entry-level positions. The most in-demand technical skills include identity and access management (58%), incident response (55%), data protection (50%), cloud computing (45%), and DevSecOps or data collection and correlation (35%).

As well as technical skills, soft skills are in high demand among employers, with 62% reporting that ideal candidates should have critical thinking skills, 59% expecting communications skills, 50% expecting problem-solving skills, 49% valuing collaboration and cooperation skills and 43% rating attention to detail.

Perhaps as a result of understaffing, only 42% of Oceania respondents say their organisation conducts a cyber-risk assessment at least annually, the report found.

Looking ahead to 2024, 82% of Oceania respondents expect demand for technical cybersecurity contributors to increase in the next year, 50% expect an increase in demand for cybersecurity managers, and 56% expect an at least slight increase in security budgets next year.

ISACA Oceania Ambassador Jo Stewart-Rattray said these findings are alarming. “It is concerning that 65% of cybersecurity leaders in the region said their teams remain understaffed, considering 93% say they are experiencing the same or increased number of attacks compared to a year ago,” she said.

“Under-staffing remains a critical issue facing the sector and it’s time for organisations to create real change by reconsidering hiring practices and increasing opportunities for entry-level positions and training up staff.”

Image credit: iStock.com/RomoloTavani

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