Latest news – Cybersecurity training shortfall; CEOs upbeat on economy; ‘Candidate ghosting’ on rise

[Australasian Law Management Journal,General Management,Marketing & Business Development,People Management(HR),Technology] March 4, 2022

Survey highlights cybersecurity training gap

Just over half of all employees in the legal service industry have had no cybersecurity training from their current employer, according to a new survey.

The study from NordLocker. which surveyed about 1500 legal professionals, showed that 51 per cent of staff had not received such training, despite 83 per cent of legal professionals handling confidential data while working.

NordLocker is an encrypted cloud service provider. Its research reveals that 11 per cent of employees in the legal services industry do not use any cybersecurity tools at work. Among those who do use protection on their digital devices, antivirus is the most popular software (67 per cent) followed by a password manager (57 per cent), a VPN (51 per cent) and a file encryption tool (40 per cent).

When asked who should be responsible if they accidentally caused a data breach in their workplace, the majority of legal professionals answered with “both the employer and the employee” (41 per cent). However, almost one in three respondents (30 per cent) would solely blame their company if they were involved in a data breach.

In suggesting possible cybersecurity practices for legal professionals, NordLocker recommended:

  • making sure your employees use strong and unique passwords, and multi-factor authentication
  • securing your email by training your staff to identify signs of phishing, especially when an email contains attachments and links
  • implementing and enforcing periodic data backup and restoration processes
  • adopting zero-trust network access, meaning that every access request to digital resources by a member of staff should be granted only after their identity has been appropriately verified
  • encrypting client files to avoid data leaks in ransomware.

Positive economic outlook from Australian CEOs

Australia’s CEOs are positive about economic growth globally and locally in 2022, according to findings from PwC Australia’s 25th CEO Survey.

This is despite the potential for ongoing turbulence resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the recent productivity hit from the Omicron wave. Business leaders who participated in the survey (taken in October-November 2021) felt they were in a strong position and were taking a medium-term view, with 88 per cent of CEOs expecting growth in the Australian economy throughout this year and 98 per cent confident in their company’s revenue growth prospects over that time.

However, CEOs in Australia appear to be even more concerned than their global counterparts about cybersecurity, following a record year of cyberattacks. Not only can a cybersecurity incident cause reputational damage, but 52 per cent of CEOs say cyber risk is inhibiting their company’s ability to innovate.

As cyber risks become increasingly complex, affect the whole supply chain and require hard-to-find talent, respondents suggest it’s time CEOs regard cybersecurity resilience as more than a cost to business, but a critical investment to support business growth.

In other findings from the survey, two-thirds of CEOs are worried about the impact of COVID-19 and health-related risks on attracting and retaining talent in 2022. Australia is in a war for talent, and investment in retraining and upskilling employees needs to be a top priority.

Rise in job candidates ‘ghosting’ employers

‘Candidate ghosting’ is taking an increasing toll on employers, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half suggests.

In a survey of more than 2300 senior managers in the United States, almost four 10 respondents (39 per cent) said it was more common for job candidates to cut off communication now than two years ago. Those hiring for technology (48 per cent) and administrative and customer support (42 per cent) roles were most likely to report a surge in ghosting.

In a separate survey, professionals revealed the main reason for ghosting a prospective employer:

  • the interview process was poor (33 per cent)
  • they received another job offer (29 per cent)
  • the job was not what they expected (23 per cent)
  • a mandatory return-to-office policy was implemented (16 per cent).

“Professionals have more job opportunities today and can quickly make career moves given the rise of remote hiring processes,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald. “To help combat ghosting, employers need to put themselves in candidates’ shoes and provide a clear picture of the role and organisational culture, a seamless recruitment process and regular communication.”

Ghosting isn’t the only factor making employers’ hiring plans more difficult, according to the research. In the past year, more than half of senior managers surveyed (56 per cent) said they had missed out on a potential hire because:

  • the candidate wanted more schedule flexibility (40 per cent)
  • the company took too long to make an offer (35 per cent)
  • they didn’t meet the candidate’s salary expectations (24 per cent).

McDonald added that “hiring is harder than ever, and employers need to exceed candidates’ expectations to land top talent. Offering flexible work arrangements and competitive pay and perks can pique job seekers’ interest – and moving quickly to set up interviews and extend offers can help clinch the deal.”