Sophos (LSE: SOPH), a global leader in next-generation endpoint and network cybersecurity, today announced the findings of its report, The Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan – Culture, Efficiency, Awareness, which reveals that the success of an organisation’s cybersecurity investment lies in more than buying technology, with corporate culture, employee education and path-to-purchase playing a critical role.

Philippines companies not keeping pace with the speed of cybersecurity

Across the Philippines, the majority (64 percent) of business decision makers believe lack of security expertise is a challenge for their organisation, with 62 percent observing recruitment of skills to be a struggle. This comes down to the set-up of cybersecurity within organisations, which commonly sees IT staff tasked with security in addition to their other responsibilities.

There is also a wider corporate cultural issue, relating to attitude and behavior, impacting corporate cybersecurity. In fact, 78 percent of organisations in the Philippines believe the biggest challenge to their security in the next 24 months will be improving cybersecurity awareness and education among employees and leadership.

Budget challenges and organisational structure continue to play a role

In the Philippines, 44 percent of organisations have a dedicated cybersecurity budget – in most cases budgets are included as part of other broader IT or other departmental spend. Organisational IT security structures are diverse – one third of those surveyed have a dedicated CISO, another third sees cybersecurity led by an IT leader, and the remainder give responsibility to another executive, such as the CTO. The majority of organisations continue to keep most capabilities in-house and only in a few areas, like penetration testing and training, does outsourcing become a more common approach.

Change is coming

Only 34 percent of organisations in the Philippines are regularly making significant changes to their cybersecurity approach, with 30 percent intending to make changes to their security approach in the next six to 24 months. As part of this, three in four (77 percent) organisations anticipate their use of external security partners to rise over the next 12 months. The main triggers for security updates – beyond changes to overall security posture – are technology and product developments, compliance and regulation requirements, and growing awareness of new attacks.

How does the Philippines compare?

  • 24 percent of organisations in the Philippines said they had been breached in the last 12 months
  • The most serious attack vectors in the Philippines (receiving a seriousness rating of 9 or 10 out of 10) are phishing, malware, and ransomware
  • The top three cybersecurity frustrations are:
    • Too much noise regarding security
    • Cybersecurity is frequently relegated in priority
    • Not enough investment and time into training general staff
  • The top technologies or issues Philippines security decision makers think will impact their organisation’s security in the next 24 months are artificial intelligence and machine learning, IT/OT convergence, and digital transformation programs.
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