Skills shortage poses cyber threat: Gartner


Wednesday, 18 July, 2018


Skills shortage poses cyber threat: Gartner

Only 65% of organisations have a cybersecurity expert, despite the fact that 95% expect cyber threats to increase over the next three years.

This is one of the findings of a new survey by Gartner, which also reveals that skills challenges continue to plague organisations undergoing digitalisation. Digital security staffing shortages are considered a top inhibitor to innovation.

Gartner's 2018 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3160 CIO respondents in 98 countries and across major industries, representing approximately US$13 trillion in revenue/public sector budgets and US$277 billion in IT spending.

The survey indicates that cybersecurity remains a source of deep concern for organisations. Many cybercriminals not only operate in ways that organisations struggle to anticipate, they also demonstrate a readiness to adapt to changing environments, according to Rob McMillan, Research Director at Gartner.

"In a twisted way, many cybercriminals are digital pioneers, finding ways to leverage big data and web-scale techniques to stage attacks and steal data," said McMillan.

"CIOs can't protect their organisations from everything, so they need to create a sustainable set of controls that balances their need to protect their business with their need to run it."

Apparently 35% of survey respondents indicate that their organisation has already invested in and deployed some aspect of digital security, while an additional 36% are actively experimenting or planning to implement in the short term. Gartner predicts that 60% of security budgets will be in support of detection and response capabilities by 2020.

"Taking a risk-based approach is imperative to set a target level of cybersecurity readiness," McMillan said.

"Raising budgets alone doesn't create an improved risk posture. Security investments must be prioritised by business outcomes to ensure the right amount is spent on the right things.

"Cybersecurity is faced with a well-documented skills shortage, which is considered a top inhibitor to innovation. Finding talented, driven people to handle the organisation's cybersecurity responsibilities is an endless function."

According to Gartner, while most organisations have a role dedicated to cybersecurity expertise, and therefore appreciate its needs, the cybersecurity skills shortage continues. Gartner recommends that chief information security officers (CISOs) continue to build bench strength through innovative approaches to developing the security team's capabilities.

Image credit: ©alphaspirit/Dollar Photo Club

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