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93% of organisations find the execution of essential security operation tasks challenging, Sophos Survey finds

John Shier, field chief technology officer, commercial, Sophos. (Image source: Sophos)

Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, today published a new survey report, The State of Cybersecurity 2023: The Business Impact of Adversaries on Defenders, which found that, globally, 93% of organisations find the execution of some essential security operation tasks, such as threat hunting, challenging 

These challenges also include understanding how an attack happened, with 75% of respondents stating they have challenges identifying the root cause of an incident. This can make proper remediation difficult, leaving organisations vulnerable to repetitive and/or multiple attacks, by the same or different adversaries, especially since 71% of those surveyed also reported challenges with timely remediation. 

In addition, 71% said they have challenges understanding which signals to investigate, and the same percent reported challenges prioritising investigations. 

"Only one fifth of respondents considered vulnerabilities and remote services a top cybersecurity risk for 2023, yet the ground truth is that these are routinely exploited by Active Adversaries. This cascade of operational issues means that these organisations aren't seeing the full picture and are potentially acting on incorrect information. There's nothing worse than being confidently wrong. Having external audits and monitoring helps eliminate blind spots. We can look at you the way an attacker does,” said John Shier, field CTO, commercial, Sophos. 

Additional findings include:

• 52% of organisations surveyed said that cyberthreats are now too advanced for their organisation to deal with on their own

• 64% wish the IT team could spend more time on strategic issues and less time on firefighting, and 55% said that the time spent on cyberthreats has impacted the IT team’s work on other projects 

• While 94% said they are working with external specialists to scale their operations, the majority still remain involved with managing threats rather than taking a fully outsourced approach 

"Today's threats require a timely and coordinated response. Unfortunately, too many organisations are stuck in reactive mode. Not only is this having an impact on core business priorities, but it also has a sizeable human toll, with over half of respondents stating that cyberattacks are keeping them up at night. Eliminating the guesswork and applying defensive controls based on actionable intelligence will let IT teams focus on enabling the business instead of trying to douse the eternal flame of active attacks,” concluded Shier.