IT budgets set to increase in the wake of Covid-19 recovery
Growing concerns about cyber resilience are set to lead to an increase in IT budgets next year according to a poll carried out by TechBeat in association with Logicalis and IBM. The survey of 107 IT professionals conducted between October and November 2021 found that 70% expected an increase in funding for security, back-up and disaster recovery in 2022. This tallies with IT departments exposure to cyberthreats, with a further 76% of respondents said their exposure to cyber threats had increased over the past year.
While the new normal of hybrid working has led to increased exposure to cyber threats, there is little appetite for employers to push for a full return to the office. A total of 80% of respondents said their employer was looking at life beyond an open plan workspace. Forty-three per cent of respondents expressly favoured the hybrid model with some days in the office per week as a way forward, while 38% see their company adopting a ‘remote first’ approach with the option of office working.
New models of working imposed on businesses since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic seem to have been validated by increased levels of productivity and teamwork. Thanks to the presence of teleconferencing, 39% of respondents said their level of contact is ‘excellent’, followed by 36% who rated it ‘satisfactory’. Less than 10% (7%) of respondents considered their level of contact ‘poor’. Meanwhile 18% said their level of contact with co-workers remained unchanged.
In looking at how companies are protecting their data, using a multi-cloud solution proved the most popular among IT professionals, with 66% reporting it to be at least part of their cyber resiliency efforts. From there a range of strategies are being used including off-premise physical back-up (used by 22% of respondents), on-premise physical back-up (22%), and network isolation (17%). Growth areas such as artificial intelligence-based solutions and immutable storage are currently employed by 6% and 9% of respondents respectively.
There was optimism that the will from management, tools and policies are in place to make businesses more secure. Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said cyber attacks – such as that on the HSE earlier this year – had made company management more aware of threats to their organisation, 70% were satisfied with their security policies, and 75% felt their disaster and recovery tools were fit for purpose.
As for how to handle a security incident, 57% of respondents said it was a waste of time to negotiate with hackers, and 59% strongly disagreed that IT departments should keep a bitcoin fund for dealing with ransomware attacks.
Finally, 56% of IT pros reported being happy with their level of professional development at this time of shifting working models, though 53% were concerned that vendors were not being pro-active enough in bringing new disaster recovery solutions to market.
“Artificial intelligence and immutable storage are used by less than 10% of respondents, but I would expect these to be key growth areas for Logicalis in 2022. As the risk of cyber attacks increase, countermeasures meeting this decade’s – as opposed to last decade’s – solutions for backup and recovery will be needed,” commented John Bailey, commercial division sales manager, Logicalis.
“Today is more about having vault, reinforce, and countermeasure strategies for businesses to continue operating. We are in a WWI trench war stalemate, taking heavy casualties as waves of attacks come at us. We are just about able to hold our ground. We need to advance smarter tactics to thwart an enemy who will never surrender and adheres to no rules. The more intelligence we have on their plans for attack, the easier it will be to beat them off and tie up their resources on activities that deliver no results.”
Bailey continued: “The findings showed more than half of those polled were concerned that vendors were not being pro-active enough in bringing new disaster recovery solutions to market. I would agree with this, and at Logicalis we have the capability to address this by watermarking security to every element within the business fabric along with vendors and partners for all areas of IT and operational technology.
“We at Logicalis place the emphasis on where it should be on discover, assess, and architect robust and effective solutions for business continuity rather than placing business in a position of tackling recovery. Others’ designs can be perforated in nature with risk as they have evolved from a commercially driven point rather than pervasive secure foundations. The folly of commercial saving is often manifested when it fails its stress test and the cost of recovery can be 10 times the envisaged saving. This model needed to evolve to be based on several metrics for performance, not just cost into the future,” he concluded.