What will be the most significant threat to cybersecurity teams in 2018? According to a May 2018 survey from information security company Trustwave, 22 percent of full-time information technology (IT) professionals said preventing malware, including ransomware, was their biggest security threat and obligation for 2018.

Increasing Threats and Pressures

Trustwave commissioned a third-party research firm to create the 2018 Security Pressures survey, which polled 1,600 security decision-makers and influencers in six countries about the types of information security pressures they face. Their responses helped illustrate the priorities of security teams in their ongoing fight against digital threats.

Malicious activity wasn’t the only threat felt by security professionals in the Trustwave survey. The second biggest pressure was identifying vulnerabilities (17 percent) — which fell from holding the top spot in 2017. Preventing social engineering and phishing attacks came in third place (13 percent), and patching vulnerabilities came in fourth place (12 percent).

Besides threats and responsibilities, IT professionals reported that they also face a number of obligations involved with running their employer’s information security program. Twenty-six percent said advanced security threats produce the most operational pressure, followed by a lack of budget (17 percent) and a lack of security skills and expertise (16 percent).

Pursuing Malware Prevention and Increased Cybersecurity

Chris Schueler, senior vice president of managed security at Trustwave, said that pressures cited in the survey reflect broader developments that will continue to shape the security industry for years to come.

“Cybercrime will remain a remarkably lucrative business model for the foreseeable future and, like legitimate industries, will continue to evolve through efficiencies, adaptation and innovation,” Schueler said to Open Access Government in May 2018. “As this year’s report depicts, it’s this continuous advancement of the threat landscape, coupled with internal resource constraints, causing sleepless nights for those charged with securing assets.”

Even so, Schueler was optimistic that many organizations are pursuing security proactively by emphasizing secure coding and frequent security testing, among other internal practices. At the same time, Trustwave explained in its report that organizations could bolster their security with the help of a managed security services provider (MSSP) by keeping an eye out for providers with global reach, ample security expertise and a robust portfolio of solutions.

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