CISO's Cant Find The Right People

A recent study by the upscale human talent acquisition agency Stott and May, featuring a panel of 55 security leaders from around the globe, has found that access to cyber security skills remains the number one barrier to strategy execution. 39% of the sample stated that a lack of internal security skills was their number one challenge with budget (30%), board level buy-in (22%) and technology (9%) called out as other notable hurdles.
 
Other key findings in the report include:
 
  •  Most respondents (76%) believe there is a shortage of cyber security skills in their company, however, the problem still seems more potent for mid-market and large enterprise businesses.
  •  Organisations are still struggling to source cyber security talent (72%) with no material improvement around time-to-hire from 2019. 
  • The business perception of cyber security is moving away from unnecessary expense (15%) towards strategic priority (54%) in the wake of well publicised breaches resulting in fines and reputational damage.
  • Customers are becoming more educated and demanding around the issue of cyber security, driving most respondents (69%) to conclude that their business feels that functions can add value to their companies’ overall proposition. 
  •  As more business move towards the cloud 54% of cyber leaders believe we will see an increase in incidents. 
  •  30% of security leaders are also looking internally for transferable skills first before going to the open market.
CISO’s are being forced to become more creative about how they leverage their finite resources with 46% of the sample stating that they believed that AI and Machine Learning could offer part of the solution in terms of automating more workloads.
 
Jim Rutt, CISO at the medical research organisation, he Dana Foundation, one of the participants in the research stated; “the first thing that most CISO’s are going to gravitate towards is trying to leverage some form of artificial intelligence or automation. There’s upside here in terms of making teams work a lot smarter and reducing the volume of manual tasks.”
 
Rutt did, however, explain that CISO’s need to be more hands on if automation projects are to realise their intended benefits. “Often the challenge is the burden on building these initiatives falls on the SOC team rather than the architectural or leadership teams. These individuals are less likely to understand, from an enterprise perspective, what they should be automating and where the priorities sit.” 
 
He continued; “CISO’s need to be looking at solutions that reduce manual work, but they need to really have skin in the game from a technical and process perspective about what’s going on and what is going to be viable.”
 
The report also touches upon the key challenges that sit in front of CISO’s in 2020. Outside of getting a better handle on the recent influx of remote workers and the aforementioned need for more automation, key themes also included; improving maturity around risk measurement and metrics, insider threat, asset management and API security.
 
 
The Stott and May Cyber Security in Focus Survey examines the key issues that have made an impact on the market over the course of this year. Respondents were asked to share their views across a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, the skills shortage, the boardroom perception of cyber security, talent attraction and the challenges associated with securing business in the cloud. You can access the full report here.
 
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