Intermedia’s 2016 IT Confidence Index

IT teams face growing complexities and constant security threats. Intermedia’s 2016 IT Confidence Index surveyed 350 IT professionals about their biggest challenges across four key categories: Security, General IT Services, Infrastructure and Skilled IT Workforce.

The results reveal their biggest obstacles and worries. And some will surprise you.

What do IT decision makers really think?

Intermedia’s 2016 IT Confidence Index surveyed 350 US-based IT decision makers (ITDMs) to understand the state of IT and pinpoint the biggest challenges they currently face. The Index asked respondents to rate their level of confidence on a scale of 0 to 10, where zero represents “not confident at all” and 10 represents “extremely confident.” Respondents were grouped based on their scores:

The following are some of the key findings (the full report is available for download below).

IT decision makers lack confidence due to:

Cyber threats shake IT confidence

When asked about their organizations’ ability to prevent, withstand or stop various IT security risks, IT pros gave a Confidence Score of 6.7 – crossing below the minimum confidence threshold. This means that IT pros lack confidence in their ability to protect organizations from the constant barrage of threats they face. Ransomware, botnets and DDoS attacks are among IT pros’ biggest concerns, but security threats as a whole serve as a constant worry.

And IT pros at smaller companies expressed significantly greater uncertainty about their ability to protect their organization than those at larger ones. This, of course, makes sense because smaller companies tend to have smaller IT budgets and teams. These smaller companies make up a large portion of our economy, yet are typically softer targets for breaches that can cause wider scale problems.

Confidence levels in the ability to prevent, withstand or stop various IT security risks, by company size and threat:

But do these concerns correlate to occurrences of security instances within the workplace? 15% of IT professionals indicated that a “significant” security breach occurred within their organization within the past 12 months. Approximately one-fifth reported a security compromise at their company due to a phishing attack.

Each one of these breaches comes with a cost to the company, but the impact can go well beyond the company itself – extending to partners and even consumers. Yet, despite years of rising threats and tech innovation, IT teams still lack confidence in their ability to combat today’s evolving security threats, which means businesses are likely at greater risk than they might think.

Employee security training remains a weakness

Security is not purely about technology: user education is also key. Unfortunately, employee education remains subpar, creating even more vulnerabilities across companies.

To better equip employees from falling victim to cyber-attacks, many companies do offer interactive IT security training. It’s the smaller companies, again, that are falling behind.

Offering frequent interactive training might be an achievable goal for larger companies, but we know this could present a challenge to smaller organizations. We see this as a prime opportunity for these smaller companies to engage with outside IT consultants/vendors who offer comprehensive security training programs as part of their professional services portfolio.