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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 11:50

IT pros not confident of Aussie data breach prevention: study

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IT pros not confident of Aussie data breach prevention: study Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nearly 70% of Australian IT professionals lack confidence in the ability of their organisations to prevent, detect and resolve data breaches, according to a new research report.

And the Ponemon-conducted global study, commissioned by identity services provider Centrify, reveals that 68% of surveyed Australian IT professionals report they do not believe their companies have a high level of ability to prevent breaches.

The study also reveals that 40%of Australian IT practitioners report their organisation had suffered a data breach involving sensitive customer or business information in the past two years, which Centrify says translates to a serious breach exposing extensive confidential data in two in every five organisations.

Centrify cites a recent report by the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, predicting that Australia will need an extra 11,000 cyber security employees to keep pace with increasing threats.

The company also says that while this warning aligns with growing concern about a global shortage of qualified cyber security professionals, most of those surveyed in Australia (62%) admit they fear losing their jobs if a data breach does occur.

Centrify senior director APAC Sales Niall King, who is responsible for Australia and New Zealand, said every type of organisation needed qualified cyber security staff with the skills and experience to mitigate against growing threats.

“With a shortage of candidates, cyber security technology must take up the slack,” King says.

“Organisations must take a smarter approach to their security needs, implementing tools that are more efficient, consolidating vendors and platforms, and empowering their IT departments. Now more than ever, cybersecurity requires C-suite involvement to ensure its IT department has the right tools to succeed rather than being left in the hot seat to take the fall.”

According to Centrify, for years, organisations relied on a well-defined boundary to protect their assets, but today, the enterprise comprises “an increasingly complex digital canvas of identities that live both within and beyond the changing network perimeter – while some have no perimeter at all!”

Centrify warns that traditional security measures are failing to safeguard against breaches and to avoid financial and reputational ruin, organisations must rethink their approach to security - moving beyond a static perimeter-based approach to one that protects millions of scattered connections.

“This challenge is exacerbated by a growing shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals,” cautions Centrify, citing reports that:

  • Tech market research firm Vanson Bourne states that 82% of IT decision-makers report a lack of cybersecurity skills within their organisation while one-in-three say a shortage of skilled IT professionals makes them prime hacking targets
  • Non-profit information security advocacy group ISACA predicts a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019
  • Cyber security data tool CyberSeek says 40,000 US information security analyst jobs go unfilled each year while employers struggle to fill 200,000 other cyber security-related positions
  • Verizon reports that 80% of breaches are due to compromised credentials. and
  • Forrester research shows organisations with the highest levels of cyber security maturity are 50% less likely to have a breach, incurring US$5 million less in breach costs and saving 40% in security costs, than their less mature counterparts.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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