C-Suite Not Treating Cyber Security As Top Priority: Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 12, 2017

cybersecurity

Despite high profile cyber attacks happening almost everyday across the world, business executives are not making cybersecurity a significant enough priority in their organization, according to the result of Fortinet’s new Global Enterprise Security Survey. The study that polled CIOs and IT heads across 250 organizations around the world, including India, reveals that in India 42% of IT decision makers believe that IT security is still not a top priority discussion for the board. 

This doesn’t seem to affect budgets since 74% of enterprises stated that they spend over 10% of their IT budget on security, which is a high investment. 89% of the surveyed respondents said their IT security budget has increased from the previous year. Now, IT decision makers feel strongly that cybersecurity should become a top management priority with 87% of the respondents saying that the board should actually put IT security under greater scrutiny. Moreover, many IT professionals believe that the transition to the cloud as part of their organizations’ digital transformation will in turn make security a growing priority.

The study also highlighted three key drivers for cybersecurity becoming a top priority:

 - Increase in security breaches and global cyberattacks: In the last two years, 84% of businesses have experienced a security breach, with the most common vector of attack being malware and ransomware for 54% of respondents. According to the research report, 71% of ITDMs said there has been an increased focus on IT security following global cyberattacks, such as WannaCry. The scale and profile of global cyberattacks is bringing security to the attention of the board. Security is no longer just an IT department discussion.

-  Increased pressure from the regulators: Another important driver of board awareness is the proliferation of regulation, 47% of respondents reported. With major fines threatening the bottom line, such as the impending GDPR compliance for European data, the board now has a mandate to take interest.

-   Transition to the cloud as a catalyst for security priorities: As organizations look at migrating to the cloud as part of their digital transformation, 88% of IT security decision makers believe that cloud security is becoming a growing priority. 92% of the respondents also affirm that cloud security - along with the investment in security to support it – is becoming a key priority for the board.  As a result, half of those surveyed (71%) are planning investment in cloud security in the next 12 months.

Over the years, we’ve seen that cybersecurity has become a key investment for organizations, with more and more C-level executives considering it as part of their broader IT strategy. As organizations now embrace digital transformation and turn to technologies like the cloud, cybersecurity is no longer just an IT investment but a strategic business decision. In today’s digital economy, I expect the trend we’ve seen at the board level to accelerate with security being treated as a top priority within an organizations’ broader risk management strategy. By doing so, companies will be in a better position to succeed in their digital transformation efforts.”