Research shows IT security still needs attention

Talking Points

Research from Robert Half has found Australian businesses need to do more to bring their staff up to scratch with internal IT security. Almost nine in 10 (87 per cent) Australian CIOs have experienced an internal IT security breach in the past three years, causing a range of devastating financial, operational, and reputational consequences, with the av-erage cost of a data breach to an Australian business being $2.51 million.

According to the research, which surveyed 160 Australian CIOs, the most common types of internal IT security breaches experienced by Australian companies in the past three years are social engineering (48 per cent), information leakage (48 per cent), deliberate cyber-attack (41 per cent) and staff downloading malicious internet content (35 per cent).

While as many as 96 per cent of IT leaders are already implementing a range of security measures to combat internal IT security threats, CIOs rate their existing employees’ knowledge of potential IT security risks and the company’s security policy an average of 7 out of 10, suggesting significant room for improvement when it comes to raising em-ployee awareness.

According to Andrew Brushfield, director of Robert Half Australia, “All staff within a com-pany need to be aware of the risks associated with email, social media and confidential information. Providing regular training – above and beyond an email – on cyber-security and corporate practices is essential if companies want to have an efficient cyber-security approach.

“Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated,” continues Brushfield. “Success-fully confronting this proliferating breed of attackers also requires the right mix of technol-ogy and skilled people.”

Robert Half’s latest research has found that 56 per cent of Australian CIOs find it equally difficult to source skilled IT security candidates (56 per cent) and IT Management candi-dates (56 per cent). However, 78 per cent of CIOs are willing to look to temporary or con-tract workers to provide a short-term solution for the ongoing Australian IT skills shortage.

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