Survey: SE Asia shortage of cybersecurity experts

Survey: SE Asia shortage of cybersecurity experts

A sophisticated cyberthreat landscape is pushing organisations to scramble to find highly qualified security experts amid a shortage, according to Fortinet, a global cybersecurity company.

"We see a change in the cyberthreat landscape, becoming more violent as targets often change," said Rashish Pandey, vice-president for marketing and communications in Asia for Fortinet.

Destructive ransomware points to more aggressive tactics, including system wipers, state-sponsored attacks and cyberwarfare, he said.

People are encountering cybersecurity challenges in regards to remote work, the network edge explosion and documented edge computing, according to Fortinet's "2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report".

In the report's regional survey, which gauged opinions of 110 corporate-level employees in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong, 72% of the organisations experienced more than one security incident, while 41% said security breaches cost them more than US$1 million.

The survey found 71% of companies face difficulties in hiring technology-qualified talent for cybersecurity, with 63% agreeing this skill shortage results in severe cybersecurity consequences for the business.

Some 60% are struggling to retain employees in this field, while 57% struggle to recruit them.

The study shows security operations analysts, cloud security specialists, network architects, security architects and development, security, and operations specialists are the most difficult hires to find.

In Thailand, as the Personal Data Protection Act and Cybersecurity Act are being enforced, demand has grown for security operations analysts, with the shortage of these personnel escalating, according to the survey.

The report indicated 86% of respondents prefer to hire technology-based workers with certification, though 71% said this is hard to find.

Some 93% of organisations have implemented a training programme to increase cyber-awareness, while 51% believe their employees still lack the necessary knowledge.

Peerapong Jongibool, Fortinet's vice-president for Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, said the global cybersecurity market is worth $138 billion and it is expected to grow to $199 billion by 2026.

Fortinet has pledged to train 1 million professionals by 2026.

The company and its partners have issued more than 840,000 certificates since the inception of the programme, which includes Thailand.

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