New global study finds 70% of cybersecurity executives think all alerts are being handled, while front-line roles report only 36% are handled.

The 2023 Cyber Threat Readiness Report, released by Swimlane and based on research conducted by Dimensional Research, reveals a lack of executive understanding and an ever-widening talent gap that puts a burden on security teams to prevent business-ending breaches.

For the report, more than 1,000 security professionals and executives at enterprise companies with at least 5,000 employees and $600M in revenue were surveyed. Respondents came from North and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The research investigated the perceptions of cybersecurity among on-the-ground security professionals and executives, the current trends in hiring and retaining talent and the effectiveness of tools leveraged to address today’s top cybersecurity challenges.

According to the report, 70% of executives believe that all alerts are being handled by their security team, while only 36% of front-line roles responsible for managing alerts agree. The report shows only 58% of organizations are actually addressing every single alert.

While the use of automation is increasing in popularity to overcome these challenges, 87% of executives believe their security team possesses what it takes for successful adoption. In comparison, 52% of front-line roles state they have enough experience to properly use this type of technology.

The report showed a majority of respondents indicated increased challenges in finding candidates with the right technical skills, experience and industry-specific knowledge with 70% of companies reporting it takes longer to fill a cybersecurity role now than it did two years ago. When asked how long it takes to fill a cybersecurity role, 82% of organizations report it takes three months or longer, with 34% reporting it takes seven months or more. These challenges have led 33% of organizations to believe they will never have a fully-staffed security team with the proper skills.

According to the report, 95% of participants reported business issues resulting from security team turnover, including slower threat identification, response and remediation and the inability to address alerts.