A Rise in Cyberattacks Such as Ransomware During COVID-19 Boosted Security Skills in 82% of IT Teams, Sophos Survey Shows
June 8, 2021- Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, today announced the findings of its global survey, “The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond,” which shows how increased security challenges during the pandemic offered IT teams a unique opportunity to build their cybersecurity expertise. The vast majority of IT teams that faced a rise in cyberattacks (82%) and a heavier security workload (84%) over the course of 2020 strengthened their security skills and knowledge. Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, 52% of the IT teams surveyed said team morale increased during 2020.
The increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic impacted IT security skills across all industry sectors covered in the survey, including education (83%), retail (85%) and healthcare (80%). The survey polled 5,400 IT decision makers in mid-sized organizations in 30 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
“Around the world, 2020 was an unprecedented year for IT teams,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist, Sophos. “IT professionals played a vital role in helping organizations to keep going despite the restrictions and limitations necessitated by COVID-19. Among other things, they enabled education institutions to move learning online, retailers to switch to online transactions, healthcare organizations to deliver digital services and care under incredibly tough circumstances, and ensured public entities could continue to provide essential services.
“Much of this will have been done at high speed, with limited equipment and resources available and while facing a rising tide of cyberattacks against the network, endpoints and employees. To say things were probably pretty stressful for most IT teams is an understatement.
“However, the survey shows that in many cases these challenges have created not just more highly skilled, but more motivated IT teams, ready to embrace an ambitious future. As a growing number of countries are able to start planning for life beyond pandemic restrictions, we have an excellent opportunity to implement new IT and security policies, adopt more secure modern tools to manage employees and operations beyond the IT perimeter, build expert teams that blend in-house and out-sourced talent, and introduce security platforms that combine intelligent automation with human threat hunting expertise. There is no going back. The future may be just as unprecedented as the past.”
The main findings of “The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond” global survey include:
The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research, in January and February 2021. The survey interviewed 5,400 IT decision makers in 30 countries, in the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Austria, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. All respondents were from organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees.
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