Tech Skills Gap Cited as Major Cybersecurity Concern by Employers

A survey for Canon found technological competence is a critical barrier to the adoption of cybersecurity solutions, more so than budget constraints.

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. — Malicious insiders (30%) and employee error (25%) pose the greatest cybersecurity threats in the workplace, according to a nationwide survey of employers released by Canon.

More than 1,000 IT executives across a range of vertical markets participated in Canon’s second annual “Office of the Future” survey. The executives all work at businesses and government agencies that “experienced a cyber threat in the past year,” according to the survey.

Canon has been working with software provider McAfee to install cybersecurity protections in the company’s photocopiers and other office equipment.

The survey is said to uncover IT professionals’ perceptions of their companies’ security efforts and unveils the major gaps in their cybersecurity agendas. One in 4 respondents said their organization has state-of-the-art procedures in place to combat attacks.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Technological competence is a critical security barrier. One-third of respondents said a tech skills gap hinders the adoption of cybersecurity solutions more so than budget constraints (23%).
  • The verdict is still out on GDPR and CCPA. One year after security-focused regulations were implemented, 59% of IT pros said the laws have had a negative impact on their organization.
  • Cloud security is a top investment priority. This could be attributed to a sizable portion having experienced web-based vulnerability issues (40%) and cryptojacking (20%), which are often tied closely to the Cloud.

In the poll, more than one-third of IT executives said malware and ransomware are the top threats to workplaces.

The executives said most workers are unaware of cybersecurity. One in four said employees have “limited or no understanding of threats or prevention,” the poll states.

Asked what’s the largest barrier to implementing cybersecurity protections, 33% of executives said the technological competency of rank-and-file workers.

Nine in 10 IT executives said a data breach equates to losing up to half of their employer’s annual revenue. Nearly half of the executives said spending on cybersecurity is less than 5% of their employer’s IT budget.

The survey was conducted online in April by ABI Research.

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