How Australian IT security pros responded to the COVID-19 crisis

Australian organisations fared better than their Asia-Pacific and global peers in many indicators, but Aussies also have lower expectations for IT and security investments, a survey finds.

A woman carefully studying survey data.
Laurence Dutton / Getty Images

During the height of the initial COVID-19 lockdowns, the global security standards and certifications organisation ISC2 happened to be doing its annual survey of IT security professionals. As a result of the timing, it got a clear picture of how security professionals responded to the pandemic and the sudden lockdowns it caused.

At CSO Australia's request, ISC2 broke out the data for Australia, so we could compare Australia's response to that of the Asia-Pacific region and of the entire world. ISC2 surveyed 126 security pros in Australia, 944 in Asia-Pacific, and 3,790 globally for its report 'Cybersecurity Professionals Stand Up to a Pandemic'. (ISC2 also broke out the data for Singapore, whose trends differed from Australia in several areas.)

The immediate security effects of remote work due to COVID-19

Preparedness for remote work. Australian IT organisations were as prepared as their global counterparts for transitioning employees to remote work, at 39% very prepared and 54% somewhat prepared. But Australians were more prepared than their Asia-Pacific counterparts, of whom 32% were very prepared and 60% were somewhat prepared.

Tony Vizza, ISC2's Asia-Pacific director of cybersecurity awareness, attributes Australia's preparedness to having a national cybersecurity strategy where progress to achieving goals is tracked.

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