Pandemic leads to new challenges for IT security teams

home working security

IT security teams have faced a range of challenges in the last year thanks to dramatically expanded work-from-home programs, increased BYOD use, and rising internal and third-party risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Cyberthreat Defense Report from CyberEdge shows 86 percent of organizations experienced a successful attack, up from 81 percent the previous year, the largest year-on-year increase in six years.

In addition 69 percent of enterprises were victims of ransomware, up from 62 percent. 57 percent of victims paid a ransom but of those who paid 28 percent failed to recover their data.

Personnel shortages are a problem too, with 87 percent of organizations experiencing a shortfall in skilled IT security personnel, up from 85 percent last year. IT security architects and engineers are in highest demand.

Organizations have responded to these issues by turning to cloud-based solutions. The percentage of IT security applications and services delivered via the cloud has jumped from 36 percent to 41 percent in just one year.

"The challenges faced by IT security professionals throughout the pandemic have been overwhelming," says Steve Piper, founder and CEO of CyberEdge Group. "Within the last 12 months, security teams have had to provide connectivity for a remote workforce that has more than doubled while mitigating risks associated with unmanaged, employee-owned devices. It's no wonder we're witnessing record-setting data breaches, ransomware attacks, and internal and third-party security risks. This year, we dedicate our CDR to the hardworking men and women who have worked tirelessly to keep our networks safe under the most difficult of circumstances."

Among other findings, the most sought-after security technologies in 2021 are next-generation firewalls (network security), deception technology (endpoint security), bot management (app and data security), threat intelligence platforms (security management and operations), and biometrics (identity and access management). The vast majority of organizations have embraced emerging security technologies such as SD-WAN (82 percent), zero trust network architectures (75 percent), and security access service edge (SASE) (74 percent).

The full report is available from the CyberEdge site.

Image credit: AndrewLozovyi/

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