According to the poll the majority IT workers say that the main reason their cyber security budge was lowered was that top management sees no reason to invest much in this sphere. Kaspersky conducted a special surveyto explore if this situation might be a result of unclear communication between IT security staff and executives, anddiscover whether there is a lack mutual understanding between these two tribes.
The study reveals in the UAE and KSA that, while almost half of top managers (43%) think IT-security employees should better communicate cyber risks to business,only 17% of cybersecurity workers admit they have some difficulties explaining any aspect of their work to non-IT colleagues and executives.
IT and non-IT workers also differ on the most complicated topics to debate. C-level executives’ three toughest subjects to talk about with IT staff are: adopting new security solutions (33%), expanding the budget for IT security (31%) and changes to thecybersecurity policy (30%).
For IT workers the top-3 toughest themes to discuss with non-IT executives are the need to increasethe IT security budget (56%), raising cybersecurity awareness among employees (45%) and adopting new third-party solutions (43%).
common ground, respondents agree that the most efficient ways to facilitate discussions about IT-security issues are to use reports and numbers (47%) and choose real life examples (44%). Besides these topics C-level executives also said that citing real life examples (54%) would allow them to best understand their IT-security staff. The IT teams, on the other hand, believe reports and numbers (52%) will help them to better communicate with executives.
“It can be assumed that non-IT executives struggle to discuss the adoption of new cybersecurity solutions because of the abundance of complex technical terms and concepts often used by IT security staff. The latter, however, don’t like to speak about increasing budgets since C level executives expect them to use business metrics to justify their needs“. – says Ivan , VP, Corporate Products, Kaspersky. “Today, in a difficult economic environment and complicated threat landscape mutual understanding between business and IT security people is more important for business continuity than ever before. To avoid additional cybersecurity risks it is crucial that both teams know how to speak a common language based on numbers, reliable referencesand understandable arguments”.
To make the communication between IT security and business functions within the company more transparent, Kaspersky recommends the following:
Allocate cybersecurity investments into tools with proven efficacy and present new security concepts (including SASE, XDR and Zero Trust) to the board as investment projects or even business case with calculated ROI. For example, in the cases of XDR (Extended Detection and Response) and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) implementation, it is important to communicate that these technologies allow the burden on the IT security team to be reduced, while simultaneously improving company’s cybersecurity posture due to centralization and automation of processes.
Use resources, such as theIT Security Calculator and reports based on experts’ observationscontaining structured information about the threats and security measures most relevant to your and company size to verify the probability of risks and the protective measures needed.
The full report and more insights on communications issues between C-level and IT security managers are available via the link.