70% of organisations lack skilled workforce to respond effectively to data breach, survey finds

Cybersecurity and data breaches

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According to new research from Cohesity, cyber-threats and data breaches are increasing but the capabilities to handle these aren’t keeping pace, with ransom payouts and insurance covering the gaps.


The company says that as part of a global survey of over 3,400 IT and security decision makers, 91% of those surveyed in the UK believe that the threat of ransomware attack has increased over the past year and 39% of respondents’ organisations have been a victim of ransomware in the last six months. 

However, cyber-resiliency plans that enable organisations to anticipate, withstand, recover from and adapt to different types of attack aren’t keeping pace with rising threats.

While over 85% of respondents’ organisations have a cyber-resiliency strategy in place, only one in five (23%) have complete confidence in it and over half (53%) say that it has gaps, could be improved or they have little confidence in it.

Forty-two percent say their teams are stretched too thin, while over a third of respondents (38%) say their organisation’s leadership is simply not aware of the importance of cyber-resiliency, perhaps explaining why organisations are still failing to invest sufficiently in skilled people and solutions. 

Additionally, 70% of respondents believe that they currently lack enough skilled workers to respond effectively to a data breach or loss.

“A cyber-resiliency strategy that prioritises the ability to recover from a cyber-attack is arguably more important than one that focuses solely on prevention,” said James Blake, CISO EMEA at Cohesity.

“But all the time that companies try to pay their way out of trouble with ransoms, insurance or warranties is throwing money in the wrong direction as this won’t help them recover the data and processes that keep the organisation in business.

“The gaps aren’t in prevention or even in the workforce, the gaps that need bridging are in the C-suite taking the threats seriously and investing in tools to rapidly recover from attacks.”

Data breaches and loss

Despite these concerns, Cohesity highlights that 95% are confident they can recover data and critical business processes in the event of a data breach or loss, although 68% said it will be touch and go or they have limited confidence.

About a third (37%) cited a lack of coordination between IT and security teams as the biggest barrier to getting the organisation back up and running, a similar number (31%) said that lack of a recent clean and immutable copy of data would be their biggest hurdle.

Fifty-two percent of respondents believe they would recover data and business processes in under a week (one to six days) and a leading 3% believe they could do it in under 24 hours. 

Ransoms and insurance payouts 

However, Cohesity says that it appears from the research that organisations are prepared to pay to compensate for some of the gaps in their cyber-resiliency.

Of those surveyed, only 9% ruled out paying a ransom to recover following a data breach. 29% would definitely pay and 62% would consider it depending on the severity of the attack and cost of ransom.

Likewise, 80% believe that they would be covered by ransomware warranties, which Cohesity says is contrary to its investigation of the terms and conditions of many warranties.

Similarly, 73% of those surveyed said their organisation has cyber-insurance, but reflecting the industry challenges, almost half (48%) said it was harder to get insurance now than three years ago.

“IT and SecOps must co-own organisations’ cyber-resilience outcomes to identify sensitive data and protect, detect, respond and recover from cyber-attacks,” said Brian Spanswick, CISO, Cohesity.

“Relying on traditional backup and recovery systems, which lack modern data security capabilities, in today’s sophisticated cyber threat landscape is a recipe for disaster.

“Instead, organisations should seek out data security and management platforms that integrate with their existing cybersecurity solutions and provide visibility into their security posture and improve cyber-resilience.” 

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