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Ransomware peaks as top threat in ANZ as study highlights AI need
Tue, 12th Mar 2024

Fortinet has released the outcome of a new survey conducted by IDC concerning the state of Security Operations (SecOps) in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on New Zealand and Australian findings. The study provides insight into the current SecOps landscape, highlighting the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

Key findings from participants in New Zealand revealed ransomware as the top cyber threat for 50% of organisations, with 62% of organisations reporting at least a twofold increase in ransomware incidents in 2023, in comparison to 2022. Additionally, 82% of the respondents stated that remote working conditions have led to an increase in insider threat incidents, while only half of businesses across Asia-Pacific have devoted IT resources to security teams. Close to all respondents (96%) found team skill updating a challenge due to the rapidly changing threat landscape.

For the Australian survey participants, there were similar findings. 56% of Australian organisations rank ransomware as the predominant cyber threat, a figure which mirrors the New Zealand results. Once again, minor discrepancies emerged between nations, with roughly 60% of organisations in Australia expressing concerns about being underequipped for threat containment. Moreover, every one of the Australian respondents found it burdensome to update their team’s skills in concordance with the shifting threat landscape.

Only 50% of businesses across Asia-Pacific have dedicated IT resources for security teams indicating an urgent need for organisations to strengthen their security measures. Alongside the findings of increasing cyber threats was the increasing urgency and necessity for the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools within SecOps workflows.

Simon Piff, the research vice-president of IDC Asia-Pacific, stated, “Securing modern IT infrastructures requires a continuous commitment to vigilance, proactivity, and adaptability amid challenges posed by hybrid work, AI, and cloud technologies.” He emphasises the strategic importance of businesses embracing automation.

Fortinet’s director of threat intelligence operations (Australia and New Zealand), Glenn Maiden, added, “Automation plays a crucial role in promptly identifying and responding to cyber threats, minimising the window of vulnerability." Thus, automation not only speeds up detection and response processes but also plays a critical role in combatting the ever-evolving threat landscape.

The study findings illuminate the existing challenges and provide much-needed guidance on how to enhance organisational strategy against an increasingly complex range of cyber threats.