A large majority of CIOs expect cyber security threats to increase over the next three years, but many say their organization does not have a cyber security expert, according to a new report from research firm Gartner Inc.

The firm queried 3,160 CIOs in 98 countries as part of its 2018 CIO Agenda Survey, and found that 95 percent anticipate cyber threats will increase over the next three years. Only 65 percent of their organizations currently have a cyber security expert, however.

The survey also shows that skills challenges continue to plague organizations that undergo digitalization, with digital security staffing shortages considered a top inhibitor to innovation. It indicates that cyber security remains a source of deep concern for organizations.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said their organization has already invested in and deployed some aspect of digital security, while an additional 36 percent are actively experimenting or planning to implement in the short term. The report predicts that 60 percent of security budgets will be in support of detection and response capabilities by 2020.

Many cyber criminals operate in ways that organizations struggle to anticipate, and also show a readiness to adapt to changing environments, said Rob McMillan, research director at Gartner.

"In a twisted way, many cyber criminals are digital pioneers, finding ways to leverage big data and Web-scale techniques to stage attacks and steal data," McMillan said. "CIOs can't protect their organizations from everything, so they need to create a sustainable set of controls that balances their need to protect their business with their need to run it."

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