Inadequate education, leadership and funding are major barriers to cybersecurity preparedness across Asia Pacific and Japan
Sophos (LSE: SOPH), a global leader in next-generation endpoint and network cybersecurity, today announced the findings of its report, The Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan – Culture, Efficiency, Awareness, which reveals that the success of an organisation’s cybersecurity investment lies in more than buying technology, with corporate culture, employee education and path-to-purchase playing a critical role.
Asia Pacific and Japan companies not keeping pace with the speed of cybersecurity
Across Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), the majority (66 percent) of business decision makers believe lack of security expertise is a challenge for their organisation, with 67 percent observing recruitment of skills to be a struggle. This comes down to the set-up of cybersecurity within organisations, which commonly sees IT staff tasked with security in addition to their other responsibilities.
There is also a wider issue, relating to employee attitude and behavior, impacting corporate cybersecurity. In fact, 85 percent of APJ organisations believe the biggest challenge to their security in the next 24 months will be improving cybersecurity awareness and education among employees and leadership.
Budget challenges and organisational structure continue to play a role
Across all markets, only (34 percent) of organisations have a dedicated cybersecurity budget – in most cases budgets are included as part of other broader IT or other departmental spend. Organisational IT security structures are diverse — one third of those surveyed have a dedicated CISO, another third sees cybersecurity led by an IT leader, and the remainder give responsibility to another executive, such as the CTO. The majority of organisations continue to keep most capabilities in-house and only in a few areas, like penetration testing and training, does outsourcing become a more common approach.
Change is coming
More than 50 percent of APJ organisations are regularly making significant changes to their cybersecurity approach, with most (82 percent) intending to make changes to their security approach in the next 12 months. As part of this, one in two organisation anticipate their use of external security partners to rise over the next 12 months. The main triggers for security updates — beyond changes to overall security posture — are technology and product developments, compliance and regulation requirements, and growing awareness of new attacks.
“As the threat landscape evolves, businesses too need to advance their defense mechanisms with synchronized security solutions that are designed to strengthen their cybersecurity posture,” said Sunil Sharma, managing director, sales, Sophos India & SAARC. “Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and while IT teams must be proactive in their response to cyberthreats; aware and knowledgeable employees and leadership teams pave the way for organisations to better detect, protect and respond.”
“IT teams should also not shy away from tough discussions on the impact of breaches they have faced and instead leverage them with their CEOs to help invest in predictive synchronized security for their business,” he further added.