ITWC Morning Briefing, July 13, 2020 – Talking cybersecurity awareness with Trend Micro’s Mark Nunnikhoven

To keep up with the firehose of news and press releases, we’ve decided to deliver some extra news to you on the side every Monday and Thursday morning. Some of it is an extension of our own reporting that didn’t make its way into a story, while others might be content we’ve bookmarked for later reading and thought of sharing with you.  We’re doing a similar thing at Channel Daily Newscheck it out here. Today’s briefing is delivered by ITWC editorial director Alex Coop.

What you need to know, right now

It’s what you need to know right now – ’nuff said.

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Talking cybersecurity awareness with Trend Micro’s Mark Nunnikhoven

New data suggests cybersecurity is being taken a little bit more seriously ever since lockdowns forced businesses to establish a remote workforce. Nearly 66 per cent of the 500 Canadian remote workers surveyed in Trend Micro’s recent Head in the Clouds report say they’ve been made more conscious of IT security during this period. It’s a small victory, though. The report, which surveyed a total of 13,200 remote working employees from 27 countries, reveals 56 per cent of all employees surveyed still use a non-work application on a corporate device, and 66 per cent of them have actually uploaded corporate data to that application.

Mark Nunnikhoven, vice-president of cloud research at Trend Micro.

But employees are *finally* understanding that cybersecurity is a collective effort. Eight-give per cent of respondents claim they take instructions from their IT team seriously, and 81 per cent agree that cybersecurity within their organization is partly their responsibility. Additionally, 64 per cent acknowledge that using non-work applications on a corporate device is a security risk (but naturally they still do it). The numbers are similar in Canada.

But that 66 per cent figure is telling, Nunnikhoven says.

“I think it shows that previously, security teams weren’t doing a good enough job of getting information out to users,” he told me after the report went live. In enterprise environments especially, emails from the security team are often ignored. Heck, most security alerts are often ignored. Employees will think everything is fine until they’re told it’s not, and distracting daily alerts – sure they might have valuable information – are ignored about as often as a turn signal. But Trend Micro’s data indicates that having to establish a security net in our own homes has changed the way some of us look at cybersecurity. For the better, thankfully.

“During the mad scramble, security was a focus. That’s what that two-thirds figure tells me,” Nunnikhoven said.

We also had a chance to ask Nunnikhoven what his thoughts were about AWS Honeycode. He says he’s had a chance to play around with it – it’s very easy to use and ultimately becomes a matter of dragging and dropping boxes – but the more profound takeaway was his comment about getting a burgeoning group of low code developers to buy into privacy by design. It’s taken ages for most software developers to grasp this concept. As thousands of more people are exposed to low-code no-code via Honeycode, sensitive data is bound to be mishandled.

“Getting an even larger audience to buy into [privacy by design] might be even harder,” Nunnikhoven said.

In case you missed it

The recent news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing. Sometimes we’ll also feature awesome stories from other publications.

Gartner says worldwide PC shipments totalled 64.8 million units in the second quarter of 2020, representing 2.8 per cent increase from the second quarter of 2019.

In Q2 2020, Lenovo and HP shared the top spot in the worldwide PC market, owing to HP’s strong growth in the quarter. They accounted for half of PC shipments in the second quarter of 2020, up from 46.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q20 (Thousands of Units)

2Q20 Shipments2Q20 Market Share (%)2Q19 Shipments2Q19 Market Share (%)2Q20-2Q19 Growth (%)
HP Inc.16,16524.913,81021.917.1
Acer Group4,0076.23,2415.123.6
Source: Gartner

A recent report from Fortinet doesn’t mince words when it comes to the current cybersecurity skills shortage. “The cybersecurity skills shortage is real, and research indicates that it is getting worse,” reads The Cybersecurity Skills Gap: Holding Business Back survey report.

The survey was commissioned by Fortinet and conducted in early March 2020. Respondents were located in the United States and Canada, work at companies with 2,500 or more employees, and are responsible for cybersecurity at their organizations. Job grades ranged from director to C-level, including titles such as CIO, CISO, COO, and vice presidents or directors of IT, the security operations center (SOC), and the network operations center (NOC) vice president or director.

It’s no secret: organizations struggle to hire cybersecurity talent, and that shortage almost always leads to additional risk for organizations. According to Fortinet’s data, that additional risk due to a skills shortage is much higher in Canada than in the U.S. In Canada, 78 per cent of respondents reported such a struggle, compared to 68 per cent in the U.S.

Fortinet’s vice-president, global training and technical field enablement at Rob Rashotte, says those numbers aren’t surprising. He described them as a “confirmation” of what he’s seen and heard from clients and instead pointed out the survey’s results around certifications. “They were encouraging results,” he said.

  • 85 per cent of respondents have team members with security certifications.
  • 94 per cent believe that their certifications have better prepared them for their current role
  • 82 per cent of organizations prefer to hire candidates with certifications

Other figures:

  • Canada has the toughest time filling security administrators and cybersecurity specialists positions.
  • Cloud security architects are much harder to find in the U.S. than in Canada.

Softchoice recently released a report about cloud adoption in North America. The Softchoice 2020 Cloud Migration & Adoption survey combines the insights of 150 senior IT professionals and cloud decision-makers in North America across multiple industries. The research was conducted in December 2019. Some of the report’s main takeaways:

  • The steady transition to the cloud will take place across businesses of all sizes, but far faster among smaller-sized businesses. Softchoice data says organizations with 100-249 employees were set to increase their total number of applications in the cloud by nearly 20 per cent within two years, by far the largest jump expected across the segments in its survey.
  • Surprise, surprise – regulatory and governance concerns top the list for reasons not to migrate applications to the cloud.
  • Those with 500-999 employees will see the second-largest jump in cloud adoption with an increase of 15.8 per cent.
  • When it comes to moving workloads to the cloud, costs associated with migration was the number one challenge. This was closely followed by getting approval from security teams. Softchoice says, “While security concerns are understandable, they might represent an outdated understanding of modern cloud capabilities. Public cloud platform providers invest billions each year to increase the data protection, loss prevention and remediation capabilities of their platforms. To combat the inertia, digital leaders should point to these advancements to overcome the perceived shortcomings of cloud platforms.”
  • Nearly 55 per cent of respondents said over the next year, investments will be focused on updating security processes and technology to support their move to the cloud.

From IT Business Canada – New cyber insurance provider for SMBs moves into Canada [FULL STORY]

Small and medium-sized Canadian businesses have a new choice for cyber insurance after a U.S. based company called Coalition decided to offer its service north of the border.

From Channel Daily News – New channel market data provides clues for navigating the rough road ahead [FULL STORY]

Growth in Canadian channel revenue in the first five months of 2020 is keeping pace with the same period in the last few years. However, the outlook for the remainder of the year remains precarious.

From IT World Canada – Tom’s Thoughts – What Canadians will be missing without the Microsoft Store [FULL STORY]

Ten years after it opened its doors in 2009, Microsoft recently announced that several Microsoft Stores are shutting down, including all seven in Canada, sparing just four as experience centres for its products. So what does that mean for customers and the businesses who relied on them?

From The Register – Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now [FULL STORY]

Linux has green lit a new policy to adopt inclusive language across the project.

Bookmarks of the week

A few bookmarked Tweets that we think are worth sharing with you

It’s great to see students are still getting opportunities to connect with innovators like Cisco and leaders like Rola Dagher.

A promotional yet informative thread.

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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