A new survey finds that enterprises are considering outsourcing cybersecurity operations in response to an increased level of cyberattacks, particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey of 500 IT decision-makers in the US with in-house cybersecurity teams, conducted by IT/cybersecurity training firm Syntax Technologies last October and released this month, shows that 83% of them are considering outsourcing to a service provider in the next six months. Syntax, which commissioned the survey to assess how Covid-19 had affected operations and strategic decisions, reports that 77% of respondents said cyberattacks had become more frequent since the pandemic started.

Growing level of cybersecurity concerns

Survey respondents voiced a growing level of cybersecurity concerns that extended across multiple areas, including cloud vulnerabilities, insufficient employee training, threats to business continuity, and incomplete disaster recovery plans. Respondents noted a dearth of strategic input from existing resources about how to handle these varied threats.

One additional area of growing concern – the need to improve cloud security as more and more IT workflows move to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and other public clouds. Cloud-related categories such as storage, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud capabilities were identified as top cloud investment priorities, while cloud security figured lower in priority.

Making matters worse, the economic downturn that followed Covid-19 resulted in staff layoffs that made responding to increased cyberattacks more difficult. Approximately 79% of Syntax survey respondents indicated they had reduced IT headcount during the pandemic.

Outsourcing is gaining traction

As a result, while only 9% of respondents currently outsource security operations, 83% of respondents are now considering outsourcing options, largely in response to the pandemic.

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By GlobalData

As IT managers look more closely at outsourcing cybersecurity, Syntax recommends several items to consider in performing due diligence on potential vendors, including relevant security certifications, deep knowledge of cybersecurity metrics, access to the most advanced security systems on the market, and the ability to provide actionable advice to prevent or mitigate cyberattacks.

In addition to a new appetite for outsourcing cybersecurity work in general, the Syntax survey cited a number of additional cybersecurity spending priorities, including threat intelligence, bot detection, and vulnerability scanning.