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Samira Sarraf
Regional Editor for Australia and New Zealand

Cybersecurity is Australia’s No. 1 hiring priority

Mar 17, 20213 mins
IT JobsRemote WorkSecurity

A recent study from IDC found cybersecurity to be top of mind for Australian organisations, driven by the pandemic-induced remote-work changes.

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Cybersecurity is Australia’s No. 1 hiring priority, ahead of enterprise architecture, software development, and IT operations, according to a recent report from IDC.

The report “Australia and New Zealand Security: The Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for 2021 and Beyond” found that 73% of Australian businesses intend to invest more in cybersecurity services and solutions over the next one to two years.

Cybersecurity skills are also top of mind for some Australian organisations, with 40% of Australian businesses saying that cybersecurity skills were the most important skills investment that their organisation needs to build, rebuild, or hire in the first wave of economic recovery.

The research also found that information and data protection and control is the highest strategic priority for Australian organisations in terms of their cybersecurity. This is followed by security and vulnerability management, home network security, identity and access management security, and threat intelligence security services.

“Many of these businesses also added that they identify security as a business division in need of new key performance indicators and metrics. 75% of Australian businesses stated that adding/updating new data security-related KPIs was their highest priority in building new, digitally calibrated measures of security success and value,” IDC associate market analyst for A/NZ IT services Emily Lynch told CSO Australia.

Businesses in both Australia and New Zealand increased their security spending an additional 10% to 20% over last year’s originally budgeted IT spending plans due to the pandemic’s driving more remote work. “The shift to new models of working drives a crucial need to invest in security measures to enable these remote and hybrid working environments. IDC research found that 98% of A/NZ organisations rated workplace security as an important capability in enabling business/operational continuity through the pandemic,” Lynch said. “Many of these businesses intend to invest further in their cybersecurity over the next one to two years, with remote access needs and accelerating secure innovation the main drivers of this growth.”

New Zealand’s top priority is also protection and control of information and data. Different from Australian organisations, New Zealand ones put threat intelligence security services ahead of home network security.

In both countries, “the increased complexity of IT environments because of the pandemic is a turning point for organisations’ data-security strategies. Many organisations lack a long-term security investment road map that is recalibrated after the upheaval of 2020. Resolving poorly configured solutions and rushed deployments will be a near-term focus point as businesses look to reset strategy for the coming year,” Lynch said.