Warning: Cyber spooks are seeking to harm our businesses

April 16, 2018

Around the world, cyber attacks on businesses are becoming more sophisticated—a fact that doesn’t seem to be keeping board members or senior management up at night, but hasn’t escaped IT managers.

Those are among the findings of the 2018 Study on Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity, a survey sponsored by defense contractor Raytheon—and conducted in late 2017 among more than 1,100 senior information technology workers from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East/North Africa region by the Ponemon Institute.

Indeed, fewer than 50% of IT security practitioners surveyed believe that they can protect their organizations adequately from cyber threats. That’s down from 59% three years ago.

When asked to rate their level of stress today and three years from now on a scale (from 1 = low stress to 10 = high stress), respondents’ stress rating is expected to rise to a new high of 8.08.

However, cyber security seems to be taking a back seat among corporate senior executives: Just 36% of respondents say their senior leadership sees cybersecurity as a strategic priority; and 68% say their boards of directors are not being briefed on what their organizations are doing to prevent or mitigate the consequences of a cyber attack.

Among the other insights:

  • The Internet of Things is an open door: 82% of respondents predict unsecured IoT devices will likely cause a data breach in their organizations—while 80% say such a breach could be catastrophic;
  • More ransomware on the way: 67% believe that forms of cyber extortion, such as ransomware, will increase in frequency and demanded payout;
  • Cyber warfare growing likelier: 60% predicted attacks by nation-state actors against government and commercial companies will worsen and could lead to a cyber war.

Specifically, 51% of respondents believe that cyber warfare will be a high risk in the next three years. Similarly, 71% say the risk of breaches involving high-value information will be very high, compared to 43% who believe that risk is high today.

And they are not confident that their organizations will make substantial progress toward greater IT security: Fully 54% believe that their organization’s cybersecurity posture will either stay the same or decline.

Wha’ts more, 58% believe staffing problems will worsen, and 46% predict artificial intelligence will not reduce the need for experts in cybersecurity.

Finally, they do not believe that their companies will flourish in this threatening atmosphere. Based on the survey, 66% believe data breaches or cybersecurity exploits will seriously diminish their organization’s shareholder value.

Research contact: info@raytheoncyber.com

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