Only 51 percent of technology professionals and leaders are highly confident that their cybersecurity teams are ready to detect and respond to the rising cybersecurity attacks during COVID-19, according to new research by global association ISACA. Additionally, only 59 percent say their cybersecurity team has the necessary tools and resources at home to perform their job effectively.
This presents a problem, as 58 percent of respondents say threat actors are taking advantage of the pandemic to disrupt organizations, and 92 percent say cyberattacks on individuals are increasing. While 80 percent of organizations shared cyber risk best practices for working at home as shelter in place orders began, 87 percent of respondents still say the rapid transition to remote work has increased data protection and privacy risk.
“Organizations are rapidly and aggressively moving toward new ways of doing business during this time, which is a very positive thing, but it can also lead to making compromises that can leave them vulnerable to threats,” says ISACA CEO David Samuelson. “A surge in the number of remote workers means there is a greater attack surface. Remote work is critically important right now, so security has to be at the forefront along with employee education. ISACA professionals have an especially critical role to play in protecting their enterprises, customers and stakeholders during this pandemic.”
ISACA surveyed more than 3,700 IT audit, risk, governance and cybersecurity professionals from 123 countries in mid-April to assess the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations and their own jobs. Most of these professionals believe their jobs are safe. Ten percent think a job loss is likely and 1 percent has been furloughed. However, while their own positions are stable, respondents are still extremely concerned about these wider impacts of the novel coronavirus:
- Economic impact on my national economy (49 percent)
- Health of family and friends (44 percent)
- Personal health (30 percent)
- Economic impact on my organization (24 percent)
While respondents report being highly satisfied with their organization’s internal communications, business continuity plans and executive leadership related to COVID-19, their organizations have not been able to avoid the negative effects, including:
- Decreased revenues/sales (46 percent)
- Reduced overall productivity (37 percent—more executives than practitioners think this is the case)
- Reduced budgets (32 percent)
- Supply chain problems (22 percent)
- Closed business operations (19 percent)
The majority of respondents expect normal business operations to resume by Q3 2020.
“It’s hard to predict what ‘normal’ will look like in the short term,” said ISACA CTO Simona Rollinson. “What we do know is that tech professionals, including the IT audit, risk, governance and security professionals in our community, are more necessary than ever to their enterprises, and they are well-positioned to adapt and even thrive, regardless of what changes may be in store.”
For more information on ISACA’s COVID-19 study, visit www.isaca.org/covid19study. ISACA’s COVID-19 resource center, which contains resources on business continuity, secure remote work and virtual learning, is available here.