Research – HG Insights report on the key cybersecurity concerns from a recent worldwide survey of IT decision-makers.
Trend Micro’s research reveals that the ongoing and often detrimental shortage of cybersecurity talent has led a majority of organizations to look outward for help. This is most often seen through automating technology, increasing training programs, and outsourcing detection and prevention.
Regardless of their size, organizations today share common challenges:
- IT security teams are under staffed and over extended
- The number of security alerts
- The challenge of what to prioritize
- The shortage of expertise can be overwhelming and introduce risk
The research surveyed 1,125 IT decision-makers responsible for cybersecurity across the UK, US, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, France, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Czech Republic. It revealed:
- 69 percent of organizations agree that automating cybersecurity tasks using Artificial Intelligence (AI) would reduce the impact from the lack of security talent
- 64 percent of organizations experienced increased cyber threats in the last year
Shortage of cybersecurity talent
“There’s a real and critical shortage of cybersecurity people. But there’s a fix for it today,” said Greg Young, vice president for cybersecurity, Trend Micro. “AI and machine learning can reduce the workload today on the people we have, by handling the low value tasks we currently use our high value people for. Next is lowering the tsunami of low value alerts we throw at teams. More security products adding more alerts is not helpful, instead when we add smarter and integrated security it should have more intelligence and be better integrated, ideally reducing junk alerts. More security data collected doesn’t have to mean more alerts, that data should be used to weed out the false alarms. Let staff focus on the real and complex attacks. Satisfying work is a staff retention element in this tight cybersecurity people market.”
Automating cybersecurity processes
From the survey, 63 percent of IT decision makers plan to leverage AI technology to automate their security processes. However, while AI can effectively handle data processing, trained cybersecurity professionals are needed to analyze the results and manage the overall security strategy.
Earlier this year, City AM reported the ‘growing concerns over a cybersecurity skills gap, as the industry struggles to keep pace with rapid technological change and rising cybercrime’, while a recent parliamentary review announced the shortage is ‘verging on a crisis’ in the UK.
Even the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the British government body charged with providing cybersecurity support and advice, faces an up-hill battle to recruit the expertise it needs. “The thing about the skills shortage is if you’re only tapping into a fraction of the graduate community or the school community in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) world, you’re already self-limiting,” said Paul Chichester, director for operations, NCSC.
Chris Tomlinson, director and founder of the Data Science Foundation, told HG Insights, “The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is a direct result of two factors. A proliferation of the amount of data being produced and held, and increased regulation being imposed by governments on the holding and protecting of data. However, I think AI will make an important contribution to data security. AI can be trained to recognize malware or to detect suspicious behavior and do this quickly at scale.”
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