Cyber attacks, skills shortage top of mind for ISACA members

Almost two-thirds of 121 members surveyed expecting to be attacked

The danger of cyber attacks in 2015 is a top concern for members of global IT association ISACA with 61 per cent out of 121 Australian and New Zealand members expecting an attack on their organisation.

This was in contrast to the global results which found that 46 per cent of 3,400 ISACA members indicated that their company would face a cyber attack during 2015.

Approximately 43 per cent of A/NZ members said they were prepared for an attack. This was attributed to a shortage of qualified cyber security staff.

When asked about hiring entry-level cyber security candidates, 53 per cent of A/NZ respondents said it was difficult to identify who had an adequate level of skills and knowledge.

Commenting on the findings, ISACA international vice president, Garry Barnes, said that companies and government entities must be prepared to address the issue of cyber security head on.

“CIOs, CISOs and security leaders must revisit the organisational structure and skills of their security teams and IT staff that have any responsibility for securing information assets,” he said in a statement.

“This analysis involves a deep review of what currently are or can be core competencies for the organisation, and where they might need help from outsiders.”

Barnes said a company’s cyber security plan needs to be reassessed and updated for an organisation and its professionals to be adequately prepared.

“Security practitioners need to understand the relationship between their organisation, its people, its IT assets and the kinds of adversaries and threats they are facing. It is only through this analysis can the right cyber security program be designed and implemented where budget, skills, intensity and performance all are balanced at the appropriate levels.”

The survey follows predictions in December 2014 by cyber security professionals that targeted attacks are likely to get worse in 2015.

Targeted attack campaigns against enterprises will continue to multiply in 2015 as more ransomware variants appear, according to industry experts.

Hackers within countries such as Vietnam, the United Kingdom and India will pursue the use of targeted attacks to try and take down corporations, according to Trend Micro Australia and New Zealand enterprise sales director, Sean Abbott.

“Following the success of targeted attacks from Chinese and Russian cyber criminals, many hackers from other countries will regard cyber attacks as a more practical method to grab a foothold in an organisation," he said at the time.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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