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Rise in ransomware boosts security skills by 87% in Nigeria

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Latest findings by Sophos, a global cybersecurity firm has revealed a rise in security skills in Nigeria.
    
Sophos, in the survey titled “The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond”, which showed how increased security challenges during the pandemic offered IT teams a unique opportunity to build their cybersecurity expertise, observed that the vast majority of IT teams in Nigeria that faced a rise in cyberattacks (87 per cent) and a heavier security workload (91 per cent) over the course of 2020, strengthened their security skills and knowledge.
    
The report stated that despite the challenges created by the pandemic, 52 per cent of the IT teams surveyed globally, said team morale increased during 2020.
   
The increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic impacted IT security skills across all industry sectors covered in the survey, including, at a global level, education (83 per cent), retail (85 per cent) and healthcare (80 per cent). The survey polled 5,400 IT decision makers in mid-sized organizations in 30 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
  

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Findings of the survey for Nigeria include that demands on IT teams increased as technology became the key enabler for dispersed and digital organizations.
   
It disclosed that the overall IT workload (excluding security) increased for 66 per cent of IT teams, while 69 per cent experienced an increase in cybersecurity workload.
   
Besides, the survey said adversaries were quick to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the pandemic, where 60 per cent of IT teams overall reported an increase in the number of cyberattacks targeting their organization over the course of 2020.
    
According to the findings, the overall experience of 2020 enabled 82 per cent of IT teams to build their cybersecurity skills and knowledge. It stressed that it is likely that much of this professional development would have been informal on-the-job learning, acquired as teams tackled new technology and security demands, often under intense pressure and remote from their normal place of work
   
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Facing challenges together boosted team morale, according to the survey. It informed that IT team morale also improved for many teams.
    
Specifically, more than half (59 per cent) of the IT teams surveyed said team morale increased over the course of 2020. The survey added that morale is also likely influenced by external and personal circumstances during the pandemic, such as local lockdowns, the inability to see family and other factors.
   
The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research, in January and February 2021. The survey interviewed 5,400 IT decision makers in 30 countries, in the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Austria, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

All respondents were from organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees.
   
Principal Research Scientist, Sophos, Chester Wisniewski, said around the world, 2020 was an unprecedented year for IT teams.
    

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“IT professionals played a vital role in helping organizations to keep going despite the restrictions and limitations necessitated by COVID-19. Among other things, they enabled education institutions to move learning online, retailers to switch to online transactions, healthcare organizations to deliver digital services and care under incredibly tough circumstances, and ensured public entities could continue to provide essential services.
    
“Much of this will have been done at high speed, with limited equipment and resources available and while facing a rising tide of cyberattacks against the network, endpoints and employees. To say things were probably pretty stressful for most IT teams is an understatement.
     
“However, the survey shows that in many cases these challenges have created not just more highly skilled, but more motivated IT teams, ready to embrace an ambitious future. As a growing number of countries are able to start planning for life beyond pandemic restrictions, we have an excellent opportunity to implement new IT and security policies, adopt more secure modern tools to manage employees and operations beyond the IT perimeter, build expert teams that blend in-house and out-sourced talent, and introduce security platforms that combine intelligent automation with human threat hunting expertise. There is no going back. The future may be just as unprecedented as the past.”

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