Info-tech

67% of IT teams in India reported increased number of cyberattacks targeting their organisation in 2020: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 11, 2021

Indian IT teams reported increased morale during 2020.

A majority of IT Teams in India faced increased security challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a global survey by cybersecurity firm Sophos.

According to the report, 67 per cent of IT teams reported an increase in the number of cyberattacks targeting their organization over the course of 2020.

The increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic impacted IT security skills across all industry sectors covered in the survey, including, at a global level.

These are education (83 per cent), retail (85 per cent) and healthcare (80 per cent).

Demands on IT teams increased owing to accelerated digital transformation. IT workload (excluding security) increased for 71 per cent of IT teams, while 72 per cent experienced an increase in cybersecurity workload.

Challenges

With increased cybersecurity challenges and demand, IT teams strengthened their skills.

A significant majority of IT teams in India that faced a rise in cyberattacks (90 per cent) and a heavier security workload (89 per cent) over the course of 2020 strengthened their security skills and knowledge.

"It is likely that much of this professional development will have been informal on-the-job learning, acquired as teams tackled new technology and security demands, often under intense pressure and remote from their normal place of work," the report said.

Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, 69 per cent of the Indian IT teams reported increased morale during 2020.

"Facing challenges together boosted team morale. IT team morale also improved for many teams," the report said.

Morale is also likely influenced by external and personal circumstances during the pandemic, such as local lockdowns, the inability to see family and other factors.

“Around the world, 2020 was an unprecedented year for IT teams,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist, Sophos.

“IT professionals played a vital role in helping organisations to keep going despite the restrictions and limitations necessitated by Covid-19. Much of this will have been done at high speed, with limited equipment and resources available and while facing a rising tide of cyberattacks against the network, endpoints and employees. To say things were probably pretty stressful for most IT teams is an understatement. However, the survey shows that in many cases these challenges have created not just more highly skilled, but more motivated IT teams, ready to embrace an ambitious future," Wisniewski said.

"As a growing number of countries are able to start planning for life beyond pandemic restrictions, we have an excellent opportunity to implement new IT and security policies, adopt more secure modern tools to manage employees and operations beyond the IT perimeter, build expert teams that blend in-house and out-sourced talent, and introduce security platforms that combine intelligent automation with human threat hunting expertise," Wisniewski further said.

Moving forward, many organizations appear to have entered 2021 with plans to increase the size of both in-house and outsourced IT teams and leverage the potential of advanced tools and technologies.

Survey findings

As per the survey, 73 per cent of IT teams anticipate an increase in in-house IT security staff by 2023, and 66 per cent expect the number of outsourced IT security staff to grow over the same time frame.

96 per cent of respondents expect Artificial Intelligence to help deal with the growing number of attacks and 95 per cent with the complexity of attacks. One of the reasons for this could be the fact that 86 per cent of IT teams believe that cyberattacks are now too advanced for the in-house team to tackle on their own.

The survey polled 5,400 IT decision makers in mid-sized organizations in 30 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Published on September 11, 2021

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