Only 65% of organisations have cybersecurity experts, says Gartner

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 18): Although 95% of chief information officers (CIO) expect cyberthreats to increase over the next three years, only 65% of their organisations currently have a cybersecurity expert, according Gartner, Inc.

In a recent survey released today, Gartner also revealed skill challenges continue to plague organisations that undergo digitalisation, with digital security staffing shortages considered a top inhibitor to innovation.

Gartner's 2018 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3,160 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 cybersecurity remains a source of deep concern for organisations, Gartner said.

Gartner research director Rob McMillan said many cybercriminals not only operate in ways organisations struggle to anticipate, but also demonstrate a readiness to adapt to changing environments.

"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.

"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," McMillan said.

35% of survey respondents indicate their organisation has already invested in and deployed some aspect of digital security, while an additional 36% are actively experimenting or planning to implement it in the short term, he added.

Gartner predicts 60% of security budgets will be in support of detection and response capabilities by 2020.

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

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

According to the survey, many CIOs consider growth and market share as the top-ranked business priority for 2018.

Gartner said growth often means more diverse supplier networks, different ways of working, funding models and patterns of technology investing, as well as different products, services and channels to support.

The bad news is that cybersecurity threats will affect more enterprises in more diverse ways that are difficult to anticipate, McMillan said.

"While the expectation of a more dangerous environment is hardly news to the informed CIO, these growth factors will introduce new attack vectors and new risks that they're not accustomed to addressing," he added.