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Sophisticated cyber attacks give rise to better corporate cybersecurity literacy

A new report shows that businesses across the region have strengthened security skills and knowledge following a rise in cyber attacks.

user iconReporter 14 September 2021 Corporate Counsel
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A Sophos survey, The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond, has found that the majority of IT teams in Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) have strengthened security skills and knowledge following a rise in cyber-attacks (85 per cent) and a heavier security workload (87 per cent) over the course of 2020, which has resulted in strengthened security skills and knowledge.

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

The increase in cyber-attacks during the pandemic impacted IT security skills across all industry sectors covered in the survey, including education (83 per cent), retail (85 per cent), and healthcare (80 per cent) globally.


IT professionals played a vital role in helping organisations to keep going despite the restrictions and limitations necessitated by COVID-19, according to Chester Wisniewski, Sophos principal research scientist.

"Among other things, they enabled education institutions to move learning online, retailers to switch to online transactions, healthcare organisations to deliver digital services and care under incredibly tough circumstances, and ensured public entities could continue to provide essential services,” Wisniewski said.

“Much of this will have been done at high speed, with limited equipment and resources available and while facing a rising tide of cyber-attacks 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."

The key takeaway from the Sophos study was the beneficial outcome that learned experience from navigating the pandemic has revealed to APJ IT teams. The unprecedented opportunity has encouraged companies across APJ 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.

This story originally appeared in Lawyers Weekly’s sister brand, Cyber Security Connect.

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