The Attitudes of Cybersecurity Professionals Around the World

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Six in every ten businesses have suffered a data breach in the last three years. What’s more, by the end of July 2019, almost a quarter of infosec professionals revealed that the company they work for had suffered a data breach this year alone. 

This is according to Bitdefender’s latest Hacked Off! Study which aims to share insight and analysis on the current trends and happenings of the global cybersecurity landscape by focusing on three core areas:

  • Weak spots — exploring individuals’ perception of risk and the top internal and external threats facing organisations
  • Stress — analysing the most significant stress factors for infosec professionals, as well as the training and support available to them
  • Strategy — hearing directly from cybersecurity professionals about their current infosecurity strategies and plans to safeguard their organisations

The study takes into account the views and opinions of more than 6,000 infosec professionals, across the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Respondents represent a broad cross-section of organisations from fledgeling SMEs, through to publicly listed 10,000+ person enterprises in a wide variety of industries, including finance, government and energy. 

The stresses and strains

As the threat landscape and sophistication of attackers continue to grow more complex, particularly in the last twelve months, cybersecurity professionals are seriously having to step up their game. In fact, the biggest threat was believed to be a phishing or whaling attack (36%) followed by Trojans (29%) and Ransomware (28%). 

But it is not simply the threat landscape that professionals have to contend with. Over half (53%) of security professionals have considered leaving their current role due to being under-resourced both financially and in terms of staffing.  

“From squeezed budgets and inadequate training to a lack of talent and resourcing, the door has been left ajar for determined cybercriminals to exploit all but the savviest of organisations. Additionally, with the media’s continual focus on cybersecurity failures, organisations which are left exposed to threats could very well find themselves with all the wrong sorts of publicity,” comments Bogdan Botezatu, Director of Threat Research at Bitdefender. 

A plan of action 

The cybersecurity threat that businesses are facing is very much real and despite 57% of infosec professionals rate their organisations’ cybersecurity either very good or excellent, there is still improvement to be had. 

“Poor cybersecurity is an undeniable threat to businesses today. From the loss of customer trust to the impact on the bottom line it is critical for infosec professionals to get it right.

“Our advice would be to focus on critical areas of improvement. The Hacked Off! Study reveals that infosec professionals believe that the main drivers for boosting their organisations’ cybersecurity profiles are improving data protection, and faster detection and response capabilities. In addition, respondents suggest investments also need to be made into more effective ways of detecting cyber threats, with ‘network traffic analysis’, and antimalware technology topping the list. And interestingly, they reveal EDR should not be discounted, with seven in ten infosec professionals believing that EDR can help prevent future attacks,” comments Liviu Arsene, Global Cybersecurity Researcher at Bitdefender.

To find out more about the weak spots, stresses and strategy of global organisations, you can download the full report here