Organizations suffer downtime despite following cybersecurity recommendations

Organizations continue to suffer downtime despite IT stacks equipped with all recommended cybersecurity technologies – including continuous data protection, anti-malware with zero-day threat prevention capabilities, automated patch management, vulnerability assessments, and more. In a recent survey, IT professionals reported that increases in training time and data loss associated with remote work and daily IT and business operations are increasing in 2021 compared to 2020.

organizations suffer downtime

As the COVID-19 lockdowns were first beginning a year ago, Acronis launched its inaugural Cyber Protection Week to raise awareness of and engagement with the cyber protection approach that helps organizations more reliably overcome modern IT challenges. This year’s event – running from March 29 through April 2 – extends that mission even further with Acronis releasing an in-depth report to mark the occasion.

The 2021 Acronis Cyber Protection Week Global Report collects responses from 4,400 personal IT users and IT professionals from 22 different countries. The aim is to shine a light on the priorities, concerns, and strategy gaps that are guiding their IT protection decisions in the year ahead.

If you’re interested in learning what’s top of mind for IT teams in your area, we’ve captured some of the key takeaways for IT professionals from the newly released report below. Many more are available in the full report.

The cyberthreats keeping IT pros up at night

In this year’s Cyber Protection Week Global Report, concerns over cyberthreats run high across the board for IT professionals. Nearly 80% of the IT professionals surveyed from around the world reported concern over all of the cyberthreats identified in the survey.

That said, there were some threat vectors and categories that loomed especially large. When ranked, the cyberthreats that most concern IT pros today are:

1. Malware
2. Data theft / data breaches
3. Phishing attacks
4. DoS / DDoS attacks
5. IoT attacks
6. Ransomware
7. Insider attacks
8. Cryptojacking

Given that the pandemic saw cyberattacks grow by 400% and that one-third of organizations were attacked on a daily basis in 2020, it makes sense that concern runs high for IT teams. What makes less sense, is the method IT professionals have taken to respond.

Defenses have gotten complicated

79% of IT professionals surveyed reported that they had up to 10 different security and protection tools running simultaneously – from data protection to anti-malware and regular patch management and vulnerability assessments. The remaining 21% had even more than that.

Unfortunately, these complex patchworks of protection solutions make training, maintenance, and management difficult. Ultimately, they create vulnerabilities and gaps in security where unintegrated services from competing vendors intersect. Proof of this is illustrated in the report: in the major challenges facing IT teams; the percentage of organizations that still suffered downtime; and the priorities IT professionals have moving forward through 2021.

Remote work challenges persist, downtime grows

Even though the shift to increased remote work was a year ago, many IT professionals are still working to overcome the challenges that arose during the move. Major challenges identified by IT teams in Acronis’ 2020 Cyber Readiness Report from September 2020 included remote worker enablement, remote environment security, and corporate app and network availability. These remain top challenges despite all of the new resources and services that have been put in place.

Worse yet, data loss that leads to downtime is actually on the rise, up 7% over 2020 and 18% over 2019. Half of the IT professionals surveyed for the Cyber Protection Week Global Report admitted suffering downtime in the past year. And considering how disruptive and expensive downtime is for modern organizations, this poses a serious threat to the success of businesses who have assembled a patchwork defense.

IT priorities in 2021

Responding directly to these challenges, IT professionals are prioritizing enhanced data privacy, modernized cybersecurity, and better supported remote work environments in the months ahead. To help achieve those goals, 70% of the IT professionals surveyed are planning to increase their budget compared to last year. This opens opportunities for vendors, particularly those offering integrated solutions that help to reduce complexity and integrate disparate cyber protection capabilities, delivering a more holistic defense for the data, applications, and systems that modern organizations rely on.

To learn more about how IT professionals are developing their cyber protection strategy in 2021, download your copy of Acronis’ 2021 Cyber Protection Week Global Report here.

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