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More than 40% of decision makers face IT skills shortage

Image: Adobe Stock / Connect world

After a recent survey of IT decision makers, IONOS Cloud has found that 40% of those questioned said their business had an IT skills shortage – with as many as 34% fearing it was putting their organisation at risk of security threats.

On behalf of IONOS Cloud, Censuswide polled 609 IT decision makers to further understand on how much cyber security and data protection standards were seen as a priority.

While the majority of those surveyed did view cyber security as vitally important, with 76% saying it was in their top three priorities, it appeared as though the skills to support those priorities were lacking.

Four in 10 of those surveyed said they faced a skills gap in data protection or cloud knowledge, and a quarter said their business wasn’t as secure as it should be, with their organisation not adhering to necessary legislation.

Further, there seemed to be a lack of emphasis on cyber security risk assessments. Only one third of those surveyed had conducted a risk assessment in the past 12 months and only 16% had conducted one more than five years ago, with no plans for a future risk assessment. Shockingly, 12% had never conducted one and had no plans to.

“What’s clear from the new insights is that businesses understand the importance of both cyber security and data protection, but missing skillsets are leaving organisations extremely vulnerable. That’s why it’s vital companies put measures in place to plug these gaps, and don’t hesitate to work with external expertise to ensure businesses are protected,” said Achim Weiss, CEO of IONOS.

“When it comes to withstanding a cyber-attack, fortunately the pandemic has put this front of mind. Eight in 10 businesses say they feel prepared to handle one, despite any skills gaps they have, with the main reasoning being greater investment in secure cloud services (37%).”

He added: “While internal procedures like staff training are an important step in preventing attacks, seeking external support and services and working with designated providers can provide an extra layer of defence and much needed peace of mind.”

Where data protection was concerned, almost six in 10 businesses were putting more focus on adhering to data protection than they did prior to the pandemic – but on the opposite end of the scale, 13% were actually making it less of a priority due to work-load and time pressures.

“When it comes to data protection, action must be taken to bridge knowledge gaps. IT teams are under great pressure to adhere to the latest legislation, but one way to help minimise risk when it comes to data is to work with European-based cloud providers that adhere to GDPR – rather than those that must also work under laws such as the US CLOUD act,” Weiss concluded.

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