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Cybersecurity teams get cold shoulder at work

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Cybersecurity solutions leader Trend Micro has revealed that IT executives responsible for cybersecurity feel a lack of support from company leaders. No less than one third feel completely isolated in their role.

The research, carried out by Opinium and commissioned by Trend Micro, surveyed 1,125 IT decision-makers responsible for cybersecurity in Europe and the USA. 

IT teams are under significant pressure, with some of the challenges cited including prioritizing emerging threats (47%) and keeping track of a fractured security environment (43%). The survey showed that they are feeling the weight of this responsibility, with many (34%) stating that the burden they are under has led their job satisfaction to decrease over the past 12 months.

“Company leaders must recognize that any individual responsible for cybersecurity will be feeling the strain,” said Bharat Mistry, principal security strategist at Trend Micro. “As cyber-attacks increase in volume and sophistication, accountability needs to be shared. No business can afford for the IT function to be an island, because it will inevitably buckle. This means shifting the mindset from cybersecurity being a standalone initiative to a shared responsibility across an organization.”

While 72% stated that cybersecurity is represented at the board level, many are still not benefitting from having a seat at the table, and the issue appears to be ineffective communication. Trend Micro’s survey showed that 44% struggle to translate complex threats to their organization’s leadership, and 57% say internal communication is the biggest cybersecurity challenge for their business.

Respondents revealed that it often takes a prominent cyberattack to get their voice heard, with 64% saying communication becomes easier in the wake of a high-profile cyberattack like WannaCry. This raises the question of how IT teams can break down these communication barriers before an incident occurs.

Mistry said: “Taking a place in the boardroom is only step one. IT professionals need to find ways to communicate the value of having security expertise embedded across the breadth of the organization. They could also strive to learn more from other business leaders about how they can better communicate risk, so they can make sure cybersecurity is front of mind in every department.”

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