IT concerned about losing jobs while industry worried about IT talent shortage

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While the cybersecurity industry is desperately trying to manage a worldwide shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, 56 percent of these professionals fear they’ll lose their jobs should a breach occur, according to a Ponemon research study in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia.

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According to the U.S. study, 43 percent of IT practitioners said their organization had suffered a data breach involving sensitive customer or business information in the past two years. That translates to more than one-in-five organizations getting hit with a serious breach each year, in which a significant amount of confidential data is lost.

Today’s security is not secure, which is amplified even further by 61 percent of IT professionals stating they do not believe their companies have a high level of ability to prevent breaches.

For years, organizations have relied on a well-defined boundary to protect their assets. They knew where the perimeters of their networks and endpoints were, and kept their important assets on the safe side. But things have changed. Today, the world as we know it is an increasingly complex digital canvas of identities that live in and out of the enterprise, changing the perimeter of the network — to no perimeter at all.

Traditional security measures are failing to safeguard against breaches. And in order to avoid financial and reputational ruin, organizations must now rethink their approach to security. Moving beyond a static perimeter-based approach to one that protects the millions of scattered connections in what is now a boundaryless hybrid enterprise world.

The issue becomes even more complex with the growing shortage of qualified cyber security professionals. According to research from tech market research firm Vanson Bourne, 82 percent of IT decision-makers reported a lack of cybersecurity skills within their organization, and one-in-three say a shortage of skilled IT professionals make them prime hacking targets. ISACA, a non-profit information security advocacy group, predicts there will be a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019.

According to Verizon, 80 percent of breaches are due to compromised credentials, requiring organizations to address a very specific vulnerability.

The stakes are high, so the power of platform security is critical. According to the Forrester study, organizations that reach the highest levels on the maturity scale are 50 percent less likely to have a breach. In addition, these organizations save 40 percent in security costs over their less mature counterparts, and spend $5 million less in breach costs. The study examined four levels of Identity Access Management (IAM) maturity. It found a direct correlation between the number of PIM best practices an organization has implemented and the number of security incidents it encounters.