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Firms face growing data threats, cybersecurity talent shortage

A ‘perfect storm’ of data security threats is looming at the same time that organizations complain they are woefully understaffed with cybersecurity professionals.

Two recent studies paint an alarming view of the state of data security. The CyberSeek report from CompTIA, which tracks supply and demand in the cybersecurity space, says cybersecurity jobs must double in order to meet current demand. Meanwhile, the 2017 RedSeal Resilience Report says a majority of organizations lack the tools and resources they need to protect their data assets.

The data threat landscape is evolving much faster than security teams can respond, according to the RedSeal report. Some 79 percent of respondents said they can’t access insights that help to prioritize their response to a data security incident, while 55 percent said they can’t react quickly enough to limit damage in the event of a major security incident.

Most alarming, only 20 percent of organizations said they are extremely confident that they can continue running as usual after discovering a cyberattack or data breach.

Contributing to the data security problem overall is a lack of preparedness at many organizations, the study found. A majority (55 percent) of organizations said they do not test their data security strategies frequently enough. The most common reasons cited were that security defense strategies are too resource intensive (cited by 29 percent), takes too much time (cited by 29 percent) or is outside the budget (cited by 27 percent).

“On average, it has been nine months since organizations created a complete blueprint, model or map of their entire network,” the study said. “This means pathways through their constantly changing network – and access to their most valuable assets – are neither confirmed to be secure nor clearly known at all.”

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Data cables connect to a computer server unit inside a communications room at an office in London, U.K., on Monday, May 15, 2017. Governments and companies around the world began to gain the upper hand against the first wave of an unrivaled globalcyberattack, even as the assault was poised to continue claiming victims this week.Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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