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Skills Gap Concerning IT Security Executives

Skills Gap Concerning IT Security Executives

Data breaches have seemed to reach nearly epidemic levels among enterprises in the United States and abroad, as well as public sector entities. Several reports indicate that the number of annual breaches in the United States has been on a steady climb since 2009, while the volume of exposed sensitive records is growing as well. These trends illustrate the need for stronger IT security practices and software.

Cyber attacks are among the most common ways identity thieves steal personal information that can be used to rob individuals and businesses of money. Enterprise decision-makers should look at success stories and observe best practices when cultivating an IT security strategy, as studies do imply that companies are becoming more successful in minimizing the effects of each breach.

Skills Gap in IT
InformationWeek recently reported that many chief information security officers are concerned about a skills gap that is impairing their abilities to bring on qualified IT personnel that can help better protect corporate data and networks. The source cited a study from (ISC)2, which is an international non-profit security professional body, that surveyed 12,000 IT workers from around the globe regarding their feelings toward staffing.

According to the news provider, more than two-thirds of CISOs believe that their companies are currently understaffed when it comes to IT security operations, and that this lack of manpower could lead to major issues and vulnerabilities. Only 32 percent of respondents said they had the right members currently on staff, though 30 percent cited plans to hire more IT security personnel in the coming months.

The skills gap is especially frightening to IT professionals and corporate decision-makers because of the common threats today, as many revolve around technological infrastructure and data loss. InformationWeek explained that application vulnerabilities were the biggest concerns of respondents going into 2013, with 69 percent agreeing that their companies are unprepared for such processes.

The news provider added that 67 percent of respondents felt as though viruses and malware were the biggest threats, while two-thirds placed the most weight on mobile devices given the rise of the "bring your own device" trend. Finally, the source explained that the number of respondents who feel their companies are unprepared for security threats doubled between 2010 and 2012.

While IT security software and services are imperative for a strong strategy, training needs to become more widespread among enterprises. As most employees will use IT infrastructure for their day-to-day responsibilities, all staff members should be properly trained in security best practices and internal information governance policies.

Using Big Data for Security
Other companies have turned to new technology as a means of reducing risks associated with IT security, such as big data. Forbes recently reported that big data is a powerful tool for corporate information security because it can help staff members detect vulnerabilities and find progressive ways to fill them in a more efficient and accurate fashion than ever before.

The source suggested companies leverage intelligence garnered from high volumes of unstructured data to predict and prevent threats.