A new survey from Gartner says that while most CIOs expect the number of cyber threats to rise over the next three years, not all of them actually have a cybersecurity expert to deal with the deluge.
The 2018 CIO Agenda: Security and Risk Managements Insights survey polled 3160 respondents in 98 countries and found that 95% predict an increase in threats but only 65% have a security expert in their organisation.
According to Gartner research director Rob McMillan, cybersecurity remains a top concern for organisations, but cybercriminals often act in ways that organisations struggle to anticipate.
"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," he says.
While many CIOs are focusing on market share and growth as top business priorities for 2018, that growth also introduces new opportunities for cyber threats.
"The bad news is that cybersecurity threats will affect more enterprises in more diverse ways that are difficult to anticipate," McMillan says.
"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 adds that CIOs can’t protect their business from everything so they need a sustainable set of controls that are able to balance business protection with operation.
This is something that many organisations have started, but those controls still need more sework.
35% of survey respondents say they have invested in some kind of digital security, and 36% are experimenting or planning to implement security in the short term.
Gartner predicts that 60% of security budgets will support detection and response capabilities by 2020. McMillan adds that a risk-based approach is crucial to setting a target level of what he calls cybersecurity readiness.
"Raising budgets alone doesn't create an improved risk posture. Security investments must be prioritised by business outcomes to ensure the right amount is spent on the right things,” McMillan comments.
Almost all (93%) of CIOs at ‘top-performing organisations’ say that digital business has benefited their company, leaving them open to change and adaptable.
Gartner says this attitude of cultural openness towards new recruitment and training avenues will benefit many security practises.
"Cybersecurity is faced with a well-documented skills shortage, which is considered a top inhibitor to innovation. Finding talented, driven people to handle the organisation's cybersecurity responsibilities is an endless function,” McMillan concludes.
Although many organisations have a dedicated cybersecurity expert, Gartner warns that the skills shortage continues.
Gartner recommends that chief information security officers (CISOs) continue to build bench strength through innovative approaches to developing the security team's capabilities.