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Miscommunications in IT security lead to cybersecurity incidents in 80% of U.S. companies

According to a new report from Kaspersky, 80% of top-tier managers in the U.S. admit that a miscommunication with the IT department or IT security team has resulted in at least one cybersecurity incident in their organizations. In regards to personal attitudes, the majority of non-IT executives cited a diminished sense of cooperation between different teams (43%) and said the situation makes them question their colleagues' skills and abilities when communicating with their IT-security employees (56%).

A recent Forrester analytics survey found that companies spend an average of 37 days and of $2.4 million to detect and recover from a cybersecurity breach. To determine how much mutual understanding between executives and information security teams affects company's cyber resilience, Kaspersky conducted a global survey of more than 1,300 business leaders.

According to the results of the study, 98% of non-IT respondents experienced miscommunications regarding IT security. With regards to consequences, most often a breakdown in communications leads to serious projects delays (81%) and cybersecurity incidents (62%). Among other negative effects are a wasted budget (73%) and the loss of a valued employees (75%).

In addition, unclear communication with IT-security employees also affects the emotional state of employees and leads to executives questioning the skills and abilities of IT-security employees. 41% executives admit that misunderstandings make them lose confidence in the business' safety, and 52% reported their lack of confidence in the team makes them nervous, ultimately affecting their work performance.

 "Clear communication between a company's executives and IT security management is a prerequisite for corporate business security,"said Alexey Vovk, head of information security at Kaspersky. "The challenge is to put oneself in the others' position and anticipate and prevent serious misunderstandings. This means thatCISOs should know basic business language to better explain the existing risks and need for safety measures. On the other hand, business should also understand that information security is an integral part of business and budgeting for it is an investment in protecting company assets."

To make the communication between IT security and business functions within a company more transparent, Kaspersky recommends the following:

  • Understanding professionals from another sphere requires not only empathy, but also additional knowledge. While IT security workers could get more information about basic business terms and concepts in various training courses, non-IT executives have an opportunity to walk in a CISO's shoes to get insights on the most relevant IT security challenges.
  • Both IT and non-IT managers should not lock themselves in a professional "information bubble." Staying aware of the agenda in both the business and cybersecurity worlds is another key to successful communication and mutual understanding between them.
  • Cybersecurity specialists should use reliable and understandable arguments when communicating their needs to the board and justifying their cybersecurity budget. Use information about the threats and security measures most relevant to your particular industry and company size to prove the probability of risks and the protective measures needed. Resources such as IT Security Calculator and reports based on experts' observations can significantly ease this task.
  • It is extremely important to allocate cybersecurity investments in tools with proven efficacy and ROI. This means tools that lower the level of false positives, and reduce time of attack detection, the time spent per case and other metrics are important to any IT security team.

The full report and more insights on communications issues between C-level and IT security managers is available via the link.

Published Wednesday, January 11, 2023 1:42 PM by David Marshall
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