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Cybersecurity coming of age

22/10/2020 17:27

Decades after emerging from under IT’s wing, the cybersecurity profession has matured. Armed with the insight and foresight that only experience can provide; cybersecurity stands at a pivotal point for the industry, organizations and people it serves.

Amid the backdrop of COVID-19, PwC launches it’s latest installment in the Digital Trust Insights series - Global Digital Trust Insights 2021: Cybersecurity comes of age  - insights into what’s changing and what’s next in cybersecurity.

The report is gathered from a survey of 3,249 business and technology executives from around the world.  The feedback from survey respondents was focused on five key areas: updating cyber strategy, future proofing cyber teams, getting the most out of cyber budgets, investing to level the playing field against attackers, and building resilience.

Updating cyber strategy

An overwhelming 96% of the respondents, said they’ll shift their cybersecurity strategy due to COVID-19, with 50% now saying they are more likely now to consider cybersecurity in every business decision up from 25% last year. In addition, 51% of CEOs stated they are more likely to have frequent interactions with the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). In the pandemic’s first three months, CEOs reported, their organizations were accelerating digitization, advancing to year two or three of their five-year plans.

Help wanted! Future-proofing cyber teams

With 3.5 million cyber security jobs to be filled in 2021 - the one problem plaguing the cybersecurity industry is a lack of skilled workers. Fifty-one percent of executives in the survey said they plan to add full-time cybersecurity personnel over the next year.

The top roles executives are looking to fill: cloud solutions architects 43%, security intelligence 40%, and data analysis 37%.

Rethinking cyber budgets

More than half of organizations, 55%, state that their cyber budget will be increasing rather than decreasing in 2021. While a larger budget for cybersecurity is good news, the industry should expect changes in the way they are being managed, going forward.  More than half (55%) surveyed lack confidence that their cyber spending is allocated towards the most significant risks to the organization. Forty-four percent say that they’re thinking about changing their budgeting process, and 37% strongly agree that quantification of cyber risks can significantly improve the way they manage spending against risks.

Leveling the playing field against cyber attackers

Innovation and technology are changing the way organizations are leveling the playing field against cyber attackers, with 43% percent of executives saying they’ve improved customer experiences, and are responding more quickly to incidents and disruptions. The top-ranked outcomes desired in the next 2-3 years are: increased prevention of successful attacks, faster response times to disruptions, improved confidence of leaders in ability to manage threats, and improved customer experience.

Building resilience

In a year filled with many “first-evers'' economic, public health, and cyber organizations, saw a surge in intrusions, ransomware, data breaches in health and educational institutions, and phishing. As a result, 40% of the executives surveyed said they plan to increase resilience testing to ensure critical business services will function even if a disruptive cyber event occurs.

The threat outlook for 2021: Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud service providers top the list of ‘very likely’ threats (mentioned by 33%), while cyber attacks on cloud services top the list of threats that will have ‘significantly negative impact’ (reported by 24%).