IT’s feeling the pressure in 2016: Here’s help

ThinkstockPhotos-485298714

Get ready for a rough year, if a recent report is to be believed. 

According to the 2016 Trustwave Security Pressures Report, 72% of U.S. IT pros expect to face more pressure his year than last. And another 18% said they’ll feel just as much pressure. In a time when automation and the cloud are full of promises to take more items off IT professionals’ plates, it seems that the trickled-down hasn’t happened yet.

One trickle-down effect that’s all-too real, however, is that the pressure is coming from the very top of the organization: 64% of those surveyed said the C-suite, owners or board of directors were the primary cause of their stress, while 20% said they were feeling the heat from direct managers.

That’s not surprising, considering another recent survey found all areas are worried that IT failures could lead to a disruption in business. But the way they’re applying this pressure could be all wrong.

Not security ready

One very concerning finding of the report was that three-quarters of respondents had been under pressure to roll out projects before they were security-ready. Eighteen percent of those surveyed said they felt pressured to do this frequently.

IT pros seem uniquely positioned to understand just how serious this threat is. The survey found they feared the primary repercussions from a data breach would be:

Tellingly, 85% of those surveyed saw the breach in terms of what it means in terms of the organization, not personal or career motivation. That shows just how devoted IT pros are to keeping their businesses safe.

External factors

And that’s just from inside the organization. Advanced security threats (28%) were the top concern for IT pros, but combating these threats could be very tricky.

That’s because almost half of those surveyed (49%) said their ideal staffing size would be twice current levels and 31% said they needed a four-fold increase in staffing levels to deal with the various pressures.

As should be clear by now, current staffing levels may not be enough to keep up with threats. And it’s quite possible no amount of staff could truly prepare you for the complexity and variety of modern attacks.

Try getting your higher-ups to recognize and prioritize the threats that pose the biggest risk to the organization. This will take putting the affect breaches or attacks could have on the organization in center stage. Be sure to highlight:

  • costs a breach could have dollars or other metrics
  • possible solutions, and
  • staff required to cover the threats.

This could help them to see the potential threats and have more realistic approaches on how they can be mitigated.