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Survey Reports

2019 Ponemon Survey Report: Staffing the IT Security Function in the Age of Automation

Ponemon Institute conducted the second annual study “Staffing the IT Security Function in the Age of Automation: A Study of Organizations in the United States, United Kingdom and APAC” to better understand how organizations are addressing the problem of attracting and retaining IT security practitioners and how the adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will impact IT security. More than 1400 IT and IT security practitioners who participate in attracting, hiring, promoting and retaining IT security personnel within their companies were surveyed. Ponemon Institute conducted a similar study in 2013 and 2018. Whenever possible, this report will show research findings from the previous study.

IT security functions continue to be understaffed and at risk across geographical regions. According to respondents, automation will only provide a partial solution to the problem, as 40% of respondents even expect an increased need for hires with more advanced technical skills.

Below are a few key takeaways from this research:

  • US and UK respondents were much more confident that automation will improve their IT security staff’s ability to do their job
  • Skills shortages seem to be lower in the APAC region than in the UK and US
  • APAC respondents were more likely to distrust AI as a security tool compared to the UK and US
  • What security activities are most commonly automated or will be automated in the next three years