The pandemic forced IT security teams to scramble to accommodate remote teams that were abruptly shifted out of the office and thus the relative security of the traditional network perimeter. The same situation that wreaked havoc on IT from a cyber security standpoint may be equally effective at helping them prepare for the future.
A new set of findings from Sophos are the result of a survey including 5,400 IT managers from 30 countries. The experiences of those professionals are varied in terms of company size and industry, with half reporting from companies between 100 and 1,000 employees and the other from larger companies with 1,001 to 5,000 employees.
Here are a few of the key findings that relate to the future of IT security:
IT Teams Feel Ready
Even with an increase of new attacks in 2020, 82% of IT managers said that their teams are equipped with the tools and knowledge to identify and mitigate cyber security activities. It may be that the events of the pandemic helped security teams to shift their focus from reactive to an approach that takes a more strategic view of threats. They changed from seeing security as a series of one-time investments to an ongoing investment in tools and continued training.
There were two notable industries that were significantly lower in their confidence in battling cyber security threats in the future. Only 67% of central government and non-departmental public body (NDPB) and 64% of local government respondents felt that they were prepared to handle future threats, but these numbers may also reflect the higher level of pressure often put on IT professionals in these settings.
IT Security Is Growing
The survey also found that IT security teams are on the brink of fast and intense growth, with 68% of participants expecting their in-house staff to grow in the next two years and 76% expecting growth within five years. In addition, 56% expect that outsourced staff will also increase in those two years.
The growth of outsourced staff is not expected to come at the expense of in-house opportunities, with 46% expecting both in-house and outsourced staff to grow simultaneously.
IT Teams Require a Plan
There was no way that companies could have foreseen the events of 2020, but it was clear that those with an established cloud-based environment and up-to-date network infrastructures were in a better position to simply pivot to accommodate pandemic demands.
In order to be ready for the future, IT security can focus on steps that reduce the administration load on their teams. Teams need to:
- Prioritize automation so that members can focus their time and energy on strategic initiatives and reduce the day-to-day workload.
- Choose a unified console through which to manage all cyber security solutions.
- Prioritize the use of solutions that are easily integrated, which can make more automation possible as well as improve the insights gained across the security plane.
Is your IT security team ready for challenges that could arise in the future? Contact us at Independent Connections for guidance, starting with a cyber security assessment to determine how prepared your company is for the current security challenges as well as those possible in the future.