Kuala Lumpur, April 7: Sophos latest survey report – The Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan, in collaboration with Tech Research Asia (TRA) reveals that a lack of boardroom awareness of cybersecurity, and a broad assumption from executives that their company will never get attacked, despite rising ransomware incidences, impact and cost.
Despite cybersecurity expenditure and self-assessed maturity increasing in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) organisations over the past 12 months, the report found that in Malaysia only 29 percent of companies surveyed believe their board truly understands cybersecurity.
In addition, the top frustration expressed by cybersecurity professionals in Malaysia is that they can’t keep up with the pace of security threats.
Eighty-five per cent of Malaysian respondents also believe cybersecurity vendors do not provide them with the information they need to help educate executives, and 93 percent of companies agree their biggest security challenge in the next 24 months will be the awareness and education of employees and leadership.
The top two attack vectors of concern for local organisations are directly addressable by ongoing education and awareness campaigns such as phishing or whaling attacks, and weak or malicious employees.
“With ransomware attacks continuing to become more complex, organisations need a genuine, actionable cybersecurity education program. The current reactionary tendencies we’re seeing have created an ‘attack, change, attack, change …’ cycle regarding cybersecurity strategies, which is putting cybersecurity teams constantly on the backfoot,” Sophos, APJ, global solutions engineer Aaron Bugal said.
“Shifting priorities to become more proactive must start at the top and requires direction from executives, including investments in awareness and education across entire organisations.”
The skills shortage continues to wreak havoc
The skills shortage continues to be a key focus area for Malaysian organisations.
Seventy per cent of firms surveyed expect to have some problems with recruiting cybersecurity employees over the coming 24 months, 26 per cent expect to face a major challenge.
“Cybersecurity professionals continue to face many frustrations in their roles this year, with many feeling their warnings and messages fall on deaf ears.
“Apart from lacking skilled security specialists, many of the other frustrations are directly addressable through education and awareness programs, starting at the executive and board level.
“The challenge for cybersecurity professionals faced with low levels of security understanding among company boards is that many are unlikely to invest in the necessary programs to alleviate these frustrations.
“The issue isn’t technology, it’s education. Increasing spend on cybersecurity won’t help unless organisations understand from the top down the true nature and critical threat that cyberattacks constitute to their organisational capabilities, their customers and their own existence.”
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