Proofpoint, a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, today released its inaugural 2021 Voice of the CISO report which explores key challenges facing chief information security officers (CISOs) after an unprecedented twelve months. Seventy-two percent of CISOs in the UAE feel their organization is unprepared to handle a cyberattack and 70% consider human error to be their biggest cyber vulnerability, proving that the work-from-home model necessitated by the pandemic has tested CISOs like never before.
This year’s Voice of the CISO report examines global third-party survey responses from more than 1,400 CISOs at mid to large size organizations across different industries. Throughout the course of Q1 2021, one hundred CISOs were interviewed in each market across 14 countries: the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, UAE, KSA, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.
The survey explores three key areas: the threat risk and types of cyber-attacks CISOs combat daily, the levels of employee and organizational preparedness to face them, and the impact of supporting a hybrid workforce as businesses prepare to re-open their corporate offices. It also covers the challenges CISOs face in their roles, position amongst the C-suite, and business expectations of their teams.
“Last year, cybersecurity teams around the world were challenged to enhance their security posture in this new and changing landscape, literally overnight. This required a balancing act between supporting remote work and avoiding business interruption, while securing those environments,” commented Lucia Milica, global resident CISO at Proofpoint. “With the future of work becoming increasingly flexible, this challenge now extends into next year and beyond. In addition to securing many more points of attack and educating users on long-term remote and hybrid work, CISOs must instill confidence among customers, internal stakeholders, and the market that such setups are workable indefinitely.”
“The ‘good enough’ approach of the past 12 months will simply not work in the long term: with businesses unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic working practices, the mandate to strengthen cyber security defenses has never been more pressing,” said Ryan Kalember, executive vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Proofpoint. “CISOs hold a business-critical function, now more than ever. The findings from our report emphasize that CISOs need the tools to mitigate risk and develop a strategy that takes a people-centric approach to cybersecurity protection and emphasizes awareness training to address ever-changing conditions, like those experienced by organizations throughout the pandemic.”