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A Gap in Cybersecurity Skills is the Latest IT Risk

The Context

There is a saying, “Skill is the unified force of experience.” 

The crux of enterprise data security is hidden behind a strong IT security policy, and the effectiveness of the IT security policy is determined by how diligently and sincerely employees follow the policy. Does an employee successfully follow an organization’s IT security policy and ensure end-to-end security in every IT operational procedure? Adequate IT security skills, knowledge, and relevant experience are the keys to comprehensive cyber resilience.

It has been observed time and again that data breach incidents happen due to human error and a huge gap in cybersecurity skills among employees. In fact, according to the IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report, 95% of cyber security breaches are primarily caused by human error. Global IT security leaders put maximum effort into deploying advanced IT security solutions and regularizing them through stringent IT security policies. Seldom do they talk about sharpening the IT security skills of the people who are responsible for securing the treasure trove of an enterprise’s data assets.

Lesser the Skills gap, Safer is the Information Security Framework

IT security challenges arising from inadequate (sometimes zero) cybersecurity skills result in the occurrence of cyber incidents and subsequent financial losses. And the skills gap remains a top concern for IT administrators, IT risk management officials and is increasingly becoming a board-level priority topic. 

Now the question is, how does it affect the IT ecosystem of an organization? Enhancing skills through strict and rigorous training and time-bound certifications makes an organization cyber security resilient. Indeed, it has been found that organizations with extremely talented and expert IT security teams suffer about 35% fewer data breaches. What it means is that regular and strict training modules can enhance employees’ cyber knowledge and education about cyber defense.

There are multiple repercussions of data breaches caused by a lack of user skills. Apart from financial and reputational loss, many organizations have suffered the seizure of contracts, non-compliance penalties, and other legal consequences. Many organizations have taken this as a stepping stone towards a secure and secure IT environment. However, a single cyber incident is a lifetime scar on the enterprise’s reputation.

Reasons for this typical IT risk

Very few are born with skills, they learn them. Some of them brush it up continuously and quite a few of them become experts. Here is a brief analysis of how poor IT security skills can create IT risks.

Incomplete Knowledge of the IT Infrastructure: The basic foundation of a secure IT infrastructure is detailed knowledge of the IT infrastructure. Incomplete knowledge of the IT structure would never help the IT administrator understand the vulnerable areas and take the necessary security measures. The location, number, and type of servers; the number of data centers; the number of overall users; the total figure of privileged users; every piece of knowledge counts when it comes to protecting IT assets.

This knowledge also includes the knowledge of global compliance standards. As per the industry, organizations need to be aware of the global and regional IT security mandates that could save them from hefty non-compliance penalties. Manpower with relevant knowledge and skill sets is required for this.

Inadequate Training and Induction Programs: A person who starts working in the IT team needs to know every detail of the IT components. Not just that, any new deployment happening in an organization to secure the confidential data assets needs to have detailed training and induction. Unless the admin users are aware of how to operate the solution post-deployment, the whole idea of deploying a new solution becomes a waste of time. 

Irrelevant Skill-sets: Another IT risk arising from human reasons is the appointment of users with irrelevant skill-sets. If an organization chooses to migrate its IT infrastructure to an IaaS infrastructure, management must appoint resources with relevant skill sets and cloud security expertise. Otherwise, the gap in knowledge could be catastrophic for the organization. 

The Bottom-line

Global IT security leaders believe that a lack of relevant knowledge and skill sets is the latest IT security risk that creates the biggest security vulnerability to inflict unwanted cyber incidents. Organizations must impart adequate training to mitigate cyber and information security vulnerabilities.

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