71% of Australian IT security decision makers unsure of steps to take following data breach

GUEST RESEARCH:  New KnowBe4 research finds only three in ten Australian IT decision makers believe the employees in their organisations understand the impact of their businesses falling victim to a cyber attack

Data breaches have continued to hit the headlines over the last two years but they are seemingly having little impact upon how IT decision makers view the risks to their organisations for cyber protection.

According to new research from KnowBe4, 71% of IT security decision makers are not confident of the steps they would need to take following a cyber incident or a data breach.

Similarly, just three in ten Australian IT decision makers believe the employees in their organisations understand the business impact of their businesses falling victim to a cyber attack (31% – down from 42% in 2022 and 40% in 2021), are confident their employees can identify phishing and BEC emails (30% – down from 38% in 2022 and 42% in 2021), and that their employees report all emails they believe to be suspicious (34% – down from 38% in 2022 and 39% in 2021).

David Bochsler, VP of sales APAC at KnowBe4 is worried: “It’s both surprising and hugely concerning that after the large-scale data breaches we’ve seen in recent years that the majority of Australian IT professionals are failing to understand the cyber risks their organisations face. The lack of awareness Australian organisations still have from both IT decision-makers and their employees can be detrimental to both business operations and company reputation. With that in mind, it’s key for Australian organisations to prepare themselves for the steps they need to take following an incident.”

Cybersecurity software the most popular investment

Of those who are planning on spending money towards cybersecurity in 2024, they are most likely to be investing in new cybersecurity software solutions (46% – down from 59% in 2022 and 68% in 2021), followed by a cybersecurity awareness training program with ongoing and relevant content (40% – down from 47% in 2022 and 55% in 2021).

Other areas of investment include employee policy changes related to cybersecurity (29% – down from 43% in 2022 and 38% in 2021), cybersecurity insurance (29% – down from 45% in 2022 and 34% in 2021), and simulated phishing and social engineering for end users (21% -down from 32% in 2022 and 30% in 2021).

The important thing for organisations to remember, Bochsler advises, is that there is no one-stop solution for cyber protection. “Rather than relying on one or even multiple solutions, there should be a comprehensive security programme in place to address the most prevalent threats to the organisation. Investments in security should cover elevating the security culture of an organisation to help everyone understand their role in helping to enhance overall security.”


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