Cyberattacks of the Future: Optimizing Your Workforce

After years of cyberattacks that were sophisticated and deadly – Log4j, SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline – it is crucial to assess your cyber readiness, cyber skills, and knowledge. It’s not worth relying on the same old incident response plans. Organizations must now optimize their entire workforce to increase resilience. Everybody, from cybersecurity teams to executives, needs to be able to keep up with the ever-changing threats.

It doesn’t matter when or if your organization is the next target. Our Cyber Workforce Benchmark Report was released recently. It provides a global analysis on human cyber capabilities and highlights areas that organizations should focus on. Below are some troubling statistics that we discovered. As security leaders, we need to educate and train our teams about these risks and blind spots so that we can better protect sensitive IP and our organizations.

  • It takes months to learn the necessary skills for cyber security. On average, it takes 96 days for large cybersecurity teams to learn the skills required to protect against cyber threats. On average, it took six months to master one attack – 204 days.
  • Many sectors that are critical are left exposed. The two most difficult sectors to equip their teams with cyber skills are infrastructure and transport. It takes an average of over four months (137 days) for these two sectors. However, government agencies performed well – an important federal initiative in the last year.
  • Highly-publicized vulnerabilities have a significantly reduced time to develop. Log4J was the source of four of the five most-developed skills by 2021. Organizations are being forced to develop human capabilities to counter pervasive threats such as Log4j. Unfortunately, there is still a significant gap.
  • Security teams are able to develop cyber skills faster than cybersecurity teams. 78% of all applications security skills are developed quicker than the expected completion times – compared to only 11% for cybersecurity labs. Average application security labs are completed in 2.5 minutes less than the expected time, while cybersecurity labs take 17 minutes.
  • It is not easy to determine how to protect against ransomware. 83% of respondents chose to avoid paying the ransom in a crisis situation. Education was the most willing sector to pay ransom, with 25% of respondents paying. 18% of government crisis teams paid the ransom despite the fact that official guidance in most countries forbids them from doing so. It is crucial to educate industries about ransomware attacks, including how to recover from them and move on.

These concerns can be addressed in the short-term, but it is important to also address the growing skills gap. A strong talent pool is key to long-term resilience. Diversifying the talent sources is also important. This will not only provide a larger pool of talent, but it also allows for a wider range of ideas that can be used to solve the cybersecurity problems.

Resilience is fundamentally difficult. It is difficult for organizations to keep up with a constantly changing threat that targets a wide cross-section of employees. Understanding the details and how they change each time is also difficult. Understanding the impact surface is the first step. This will help you determine which individuals and teams are equipped with the necessary capabilities. This is the only way to build a collective defense that is comprehensive. Only then can we plan ahead and be ready to bounce back when an incident occurs.

HEY! Could we ask you for a favor? Would you share this article with your friends? It costs you nothing and it takes just a second, but means the world to us. Thanks a lot!