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  • 9 May 2019 15:00

Australian organisations torn between increasing business agility and associated cybersecurity risks

Major risks of 'flexible working' and data sharing identified by Australian IT Decision-makers (ITDMs)

SYDNEY, May 9, 2019: New research commissioned by Rackspace reveals an underlying cybersecurity tension in Australian businesses, despite wanting to empower staff to work flexibly. Over one-third of respondents identified ‘enabling staff access to data anytime and anywhere’ as posing a high or extremely high risk to their organisation.

Rackspace teamed up with AWS to survey over 200 Australian business executives to gain insight into their organisations’ cloud technology decision-making and their top cybersecurity concerns. The findings also showed that an overall lack of confidence in cybersecurity capabilities is influencing organisations’ appetites to incur risks associated with innovation.

What do organisations want to achieve?

Australian organisations place the highest importance on improving employee productivity and enhancing business resilience.

Rate each benefit for how it applies to your business’ digital ambitions:

1. Improve staff productivity (75 per cent)

2. Enhance business resilience (71 per cent)

3. Increase in organisational agility (69 per cent)

4. Improve customer experience (66 per cent)

5. Enable organisations to develop innovative products and services (63 per cent)

These ambitions however, expose organisations to risk according to those making critical cloud-based decisions and are further compounded by a lack of confidence in organisational capabilities to manage these risks.

How much risk do these ambitions expose organisations to?

Enabling staff and third parties to access data off-site is the greatest threat to organisations from a cyber-security perspective. Only 11% of respondents identified delegating management to third party managed service providers as presenting no risk at all to their business.

Concerns about data were also reflected in Australian ITDMs’ views on the potential effect of cyber breaches. Loss of data ranked highly for its impact on a business, even more so than lost revenue or reputational damage.

Rate the potential effect of these cyber security risks/outcomes for your business:

1. Loss of data (86 per cent)

2. Business interruption (81 per cent)

3. Reputation harm (76 per cent)

4. Loss of revenue (67 per cent)

5. Regulatory action (67 per cent)

Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

Further, half of all respondents are not highly confident they have access to staff or partners with the skills to manage cybersecurity risks. Given the importance organisations place on digital transformation, resolving this issue is critical to the longevity of Australian businesses, regardless of size.

How confident are you that your business has the following factors in place:

1. Security tools (56 per cent)

2. Staff with the right skills who are available when you need them (50 per cent)

3. Data visibility (48 per cent)

4. Partners with the right skills, available when you need them (50 per cent)

5. Reporting tools and insights (47 per cent)

6. Cloud environments (54 per cent)

7. Connectedness between cloud and on-premises environments, staff, sites and partners (44 per cent)

“Cloud transformation can be complex and with the changes to how and where we work, mixed with the current threat landscape, concerns over data loss are warranted. We see this tension first hand with most ITDMs who are seeking to use digital and cloud solutions to improve the way they do business, but who are still concerned about their cybersecurity capabilities holding them back,” says Darryn McCoskery, General Manager at Rackspace ANZ.

“Although cybersecurity should be a priority for Australian ITDMs, it doesn’t have to stifle innovation with the right partner and expertise behind you. Rackspace equips its customers with the expertise required to put security at the forefront of every organisational decision, including the decision to offer remote and flexible working environments for staff.”

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About the research

AMR conducted the research on behalf of Rackspace and sponsored by AWS. AMR surveyed 202 Australian business executives with influence in their organisation’s cloud technology decision-making. Respondents were drawn from businesses of all sizes, with half representing organisations with over 500 employees.

About Rackspace

At Rackspace, we accelerate the value of the cloud during every phase of digital transformation. By managing apps, data, security and multiple clouds, we are the best choice to help customers get to the cloud, innovate with new technologies and maximise their IT investments. As a recognised Gartner Magic Quadrant leader, we are uniquely positioned to close the gap between the complex reality of today and the promise of tomorrow. Passionate about customer success, we provide unbiased expertise, based on proven results, across all the leading technologies. And across every interaction worldwide, we deliver Fanatical Experience.™ Rackspace Australia has been honoured in the top 20 Great Places to Work Australia for the past 7 years. Learn more at

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