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Who is looking after the business? Alarming misalignment between execs and security analysts

Organizations across industries and around the globe are struggling to hire and keep qualified cybersecurity professionals.

A man uses a laptop at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi. — © AFP
A man uses a laptop at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi. — © AFP

At the end of July two U.K. ambulance trusts suffered a cyberattack, leaving them without access to patient records. While the attack is being addressed promptly by the NHS, the results could have serious consequences for patient security.

The same prompt action, however, cannot be said for organizations and businesses across the world. A new report by Swimlane, a low-code security automation company, found that only 58 percent of companies address every alert.

Meanwhile, 70 percent of executives believe alerts are being handled, in contrast to only 36 percent of front-line workers that address the alerts believing the same. Hence, the Cyber Threat Readiness Report reveals a lack of executive understanding and an ever-widening talent gap that is placing an unsustainable burden on security teams to prevent business-ending breaches.

To arrive at these data, Dimensional Research surveyed 1,005 security professionals and executives at enterprise companies with at least 5,000 employees and $600 million in revenue. Respondents came from North and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The research investigated the perceptions of cybersecurity among on-the-ground security professionals and executives, the current trends in hiring and retaining talent and the effectiveness of tools leveraged to address today’s top cybersecurity challenges.

According to James Brear CEO of Swimlane: “Organizations across industries and around the globe are struggling to hire and keep qualified cybersecurity professionals who can effectively manage today’s threat landscape. This, in addition to a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape and complex new threats brought on by generative AI, highlights the need for organizations to scale their defenses before it’s too late. We hope our research serves as a catalyst for discussion that paves the way for a new era of cybersecurity that strikes a balance between human expertise and technological advancements.”

A top-down security disparity

Despite increased cybersecurity discussions at the C-suite and boardroom level, a sharp juxtaposition has emerged between executives who believe that every security alert is being addressed and the teams on the ground addressing the alerts. Seventy percent of executives believe that all alerts are being handled by their security team, while only 36 percent of front-line roles responsible for managing alerts agree. The outcome is that only 58 percent of organizations are actually addressing every single alert.

While the use of automation is increasing in popularity to overcome these challenges, a notable disconnect also exists in understanding the security team’s skill set and available resources to adopt heavy-scripting automation tools. 87 percent of executives believe their security team possesses what it takes for successful adoption. In comparison, only 52 percent of front-line roles state they have enough experience to properly use this type of technology.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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