Company vs. cyber criminals - a hopeless fight?

The pressure on IT security teams is getting bigger and bigger

Can Ulusoy

19. July 2019

A current study shows an alarming picture of the IT security landscape in companies. Overload and stress mean that threats can no longer be adequately countered. The dissatisfaction in the responsible teams grows.

The study

The high-alert study was conducted by Symantec in collaboration with psychologist and scientist Dr. Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London. More than 3,000 cyber security decision-makers in middle and senior management positions from France, Germany (1,003 participants) and Great Britain were surveyed.

Too much stress from too many directions

Basically, the security team members don't do a bad job - the demands on the job have simply increased enormously. The work is associated with a rapid pace and high intellectual demands. On the one hand, this is a certain attraction and is rated as exciting and motivating by 92 percent of the respondents, but on the other hand it can also turn out negatively if the teams receive too little support. Three quarters of the participants from Germany feel paralyzed by the constant excessive demands - many even think about a job change or an industry change. In times of an already urgent shortage of skilled workers, this represents an additional risk for companies. 

The expenditure is often higher than expected

Talents and employees with the necessary skills are scarce in today's job market for IT security professionals, which threatens the security of companies all the more. According to the study, three-quarters of security experts underestimate the effort and steps required to avert a threat. Frequently, decisions are made too quickly or the assessment of an attack or threat is not adequately reviewed and substantiated. As many as 75 percent of the experts surveyed feel responsible for a security incident that could have been avoided. Almost half of respondents admitted that their teams often do not have the necessary skills to withstand threats to the company. Frequently, it is not even possible to cope with the current workload.

There is no time for further training

The shortage of skilled workers in the industry cannot be overcome by hiring new staff alone. However, many teams find it difficult to keep pace with new strategies from attackers. For example, 51 percent of those surveyed lack the time to expand their skills because they have to take on too many daily tasks. Technological change often progresses faster than adaptation is possible. For example, attackers have enormous resources at their disposal through support from organized crime. In order to be able to relieve the strain on employees here, technologies such as cloud security or increased automation should be increasingly used in the future in order to simplify the complex construct of cyber security and thus reduce overloads. 


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