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Thycotic’s Cyber Security Blog

Global Survey Reveals How Cyber Security Teams Measure Success, Secure Budget and Minimize Stress


Written by Kali Linette

October 8th, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2019 – Thycotic, provider of privileged access management (PAM) solutions to more than 10,000 organizations, including 25 percent of the Fortune 1000, today released research results from a global survey in a report entitled, “Cyber Security Team’s Guide to Success: How to Measure Results, Secure Budget, and Avoid Stress.”

Sponsored by Thycotic, the survey reveals insiders’ perspective into how cyber security executives and their teams are managing the unique demands of their jobs. Results were gathered in August from more than 550 IT decision-makers across the globe — including the US, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

A free copy of the report is available for download. 

Key takeaways highlighted in the report include:

  • Security leaders and their teams need to go beyond technology-centric performance measures and correlate their metrics to business success to help overcome the shortage of skilled resources and limited budgets.
  • Using metrics to demonstrate the broader business value of cyber security initiatives is the surest path to securing an appropriate budget. Satisfying compliance requirements and stopping threats is not enough — becoming a business enabler is the secret.
  • CISO’s need to cultivate leadership skills that emphasize communication and motivation. Inspiring internal teams helps minimize stress and staff burnout.

“The increased stresses and pressures facing the average CISO and supporting team members are having a significant impact on both their professional and personal lives,” according to Thycotic President and CEO Jim Legg.

“There’s no other executive role or function where the challenges are so difficult to articulate and anticipate, position where the stakes are so high,” Legg said. “This report not only highlights the problems faced by cybersecurity teams, it also provides recommendations for how CISOs can meet those challenges and become ‘Chief Revenue Protection Officers.’”

The report is especially timely, according to Legg, given global survey results which indicate:

  • 50% of CISOs struggle to align security initiatives to business goals
  • 45% of CISOs can’t say how security initiatives have made a difference to their business
  • 45% of CISOs say biggest obstacle to retaining cyber security team members is burnout/stress
  • 48% of CISOs say showing success of cybersecurity initiatives determines how budget is allocated.

“Thycotic has spent the past year reaching out to IT security leaders around the world to find out how cyber security teams feel they are perceived in their roles, how they measure success, and what it takes to allocate a security budget,” said Terence Jackson, Chief Information Security Officer at Thycotic.

According to Jackson, “The results from this survey as well as those from a report earlier in 2019 (The CISO Challenge: AligningBusiness Enablement with Enforcement) tell us that CISOs have a much more visible role at the executive level, which has to be matched with a ‘business first’ approach.  That means striking a balance between keeping their organizations protected and at the same time enabling their businesses to grow.”

About the Survey
Research was conducted by London based Sapio Research in August 2019 among IT decision makers employing 500+ employees in the following countries: UK (102) Germany (100) US (203) Australia (100) New Zealand (50). At an overall level results are accurate to ± 4.2% at 95% confidence limits assuming a result of 50%.


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