Thursday, May 23, 2024

1 in 10 SE Asia top execs unfamiliar with basic cybersecurity terms: study

Every fourth business executive in Southeast Asia (SEA) prefers not to flag a lack of understanding when discussing cybersecurity issues, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said.

Kaspersky, citing a PwC study, also said one in ten C-level managers have never heard of threats such as Botnet, APT and Zero-Day exploit. The same proportion appeared to be unfamiliar with cyber security concepts like DecSecOps, ZeroTrust, SOC and Pentesting.

According to a PwC’s study, while backing cybersecurity in every business decision has already become the norm in every other company, more than half of executives lack confidence that their cyber spending is being allocated to the most significant risks their organization is facing.

Kaspersky conducted their own research to help IT and C-level find common ground and explore the root of their misunderstandings, where a total of 300 executives from the SEA region were surveyed.

The Kaspersky poll indicates that C-suite sometimes struggles to understand their IT security peers and are not always ready to show their confusion.

Thus, 26% of non-IT executives here say they would not feel comfortable flagging that they don’t understand something during a meeting with IT and IT security. 

Although most of them hide their confusion because they prefer to clarify everything after the meeting or choose to figure everything out by themselves, more than half (55%) don’t ask additional questions because they don’t believe their IT peers will be able to explain it in a clear way.

Almost two in five also feel embarrassed revealing they don’t understand the topic and 42% don’t want to look ignorant in front of their IT colleagues.

Also, even though all surveyed top managers from SEA regularly discuss security-related issues with IT security managers, more than one in ten respondents have never heard of threats such as Zero-Day exploit (11%), Botnet (9%), and APT (9%).

At the same time Spyware, Malware, Trojan, and Phishing appeared to be more familiar for top managers.

More than one in ten top managers here admit they have never heard of cybersecurity terms like DecSecOps (10%), SOC (10%), Pentesting (10%), and ZeroTrust (6%). 

“Non-IT top management do not have to be experts in complex cybersecurity terminology and concepts and IT security executives should keep this in mind when communicating with the board,” Sergey Zhuykov, solution architect at Kaspersky, said.

“To establish efficient cooperation CISO should be able to focus C-level attention precisely on meaningful details and clearly explain what exactly the company is doing to minimize cybersecurity risks. In addition to communicating clear metrics to stakeholders, this approach requires offering solutions instead of problems,” Zhuykov added.

“On the other end of the communications spectrum, only 6% of IT security professionals in SEA admit facing difficulty in discussing aspects of their work to the C-level. This means the majority of our technical workforce deems that their updates are understood by the decision-makers. To bridge this dangerous gap, security teams should also incorporate effective tools – real-life examples and use of reports and numbers – to ensure that discussions are done effectively,” Chris Connell, managing director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, said.

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