5 security problems that annoy CIOs and CISOs the most

CIOs and CISOs continue battling with security issues in the enterprise, but improving staff tech skills isn't the only solution, according to Exabeam.

How CISOs can gain a better understanding of their cybersecurity attack surface At RSA 2019, Emily Heath of United Airlines explained the top security challenges businesses face.

CIOs and CISOs are more concerned than ever about automation, threat hunting, and incident response, according to Exabeam's 2019 State of the SOC Report released on Thursday. The majority of CIOs and CISOs (86%) said they are now involved with incident response, which is up from 65% last year. And some 67% of these professionals are now involved in threat hunting, up from 51% last year.

SEE: Special report: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The growing number and sophistication level of security issues has long been a top concern for CIOs and CISOs, forcing many professionals to refresh and upgrade their security awareness and preparedness, the report found. To help CIOs and CISOs in this effort, the report identified the following five largest pain points for CIOs and CISOs in 2019:

  1. Keeping up with security alerts (49%)
  2. Coordinating information between cybersecurity and IT operations (38%)
  3. Outdated equipment (24%)
  4. Security tools are not well integrated (22%)
  5. Other (5%)

Many CIOs and CISOs have turned to new technology to combat many of these pain points. Large security operations centers (SOCs) have invested more in artificial intelligence (AI) (27%), machine learning (26%), and biometric authentication (27%) this year to help improve security practices, the report found.

While tech upgrades and skills are critical to successful SOCs, some 65% of SOCs are also placing higher priority on soft skills. Personal/social skills, the ability to work in teams, and communication skills are necessary for the success of business initiatives, the report found.

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in the tech industry. Having technical skills may be a necessity for IT roles, but so are communication, collaboration, leadership, and conflict resolution. Almost all (98%) of HR leaders have said that soft skills are important when looking for candidates to fill a tech job, according to a West Monroe Partners report.

For more, check out TechRepublic's article on the Five ways for CISOs to show executive real results.  

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By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.