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Hacked firms not responding to risks

10/08/2016 by Usha Tyagi


It has been discovered that despite being hacked, many companies continue to prioritise innovation above cybersecurity measures. In a new KPMG survey, just half of respondents had invested in digital security defences over the past 12 months, even though 80 per cent of those asked admitted that they had experienced a breach.

Talking of the trend, KPMG US Cyber Practice Leader Greg Bell said: “We’re still seeing companies taking a passive or reactive approach toward cybersecurity, when in fact cyber should be a top-line business issue thought about and practiced company-wide.” It seems that overlooking security in favour of innovation defies logic, but many chief information officers (CIOs) are forced to prioritise innovation to facilitate business growth.

However, there are strong concerns about the lack of investment. If less money is used to develop new talent and safeguards, businesses around the world are likely to see an increased risk of threat. This includes threats such as ransomware, where a business’s network is taken over and money demanded. A Malwarebytes survey from June revealed that some 41 per cent of firms in the US had experienced between one and five ransomware attacks in just 12 months.

One problem is that there is often a governance oversight, Bell explained, with CIOs using budgets to implement new solutions and hire digital talent in a bid to push growth. This makes it difficult for any cybersecurity teams, however, whose ideal environment is a static, unchanging infrastructure.

There are some sectors that are more focused on security measures. As part of the survey, Bell questioned executives across a number of industries, including retail, banking, automotive and technology. Of those, 89 per cent of retail executives and 85 per cent of automotive executives reported breaches over the past two years. In comparison, banking and technology firms experienced a lower figure of 76 per cent. The variation is not huge, but Bell suggested that there’s a difference in cyber-awareness for the sectors, with the higher percentage of breaches being noted in sectors that are still not attuned to cybersecurity measures. For example, the majority of tech and banking firms have invested in cybercrime software. This compares to 32 per cent of automotive manufacturers.

Russell Reynolds Associates Global Cybersecurity Practice Leader Matt Comyns said that part of the problem is firms not thinking their data is valuable enough. “I still walk in the door of companies searching for a CISO who say: ‘Who would come after us, we’re not Target, we’re not Sony?’” He added: “I'm not so sure that's the right question."



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