Most of the world’s businesses are unprepared for grim reality of cyberattacks

14 Jan 2019658 Views

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How resilient are organisations to cyberattacks and other disruptive shocks? Not very.

The majority of firms around the world are unprepared for dealing with cyberattacks, a new PwC survey has revealed.

According to the Digital Trust Insights survey, just 39pc of executives are confident that they have sufficient cybersecurity controls and only 53pc practise proactive risk management of their digital transformation.

‘The importance of maintaining data integrity will only grow as companies make more data-driven decisions with the aid of artificial intelligence’
– WILL O’BRIEN

When it comes to the boardroom, only 27pc of executives say their boards are getting adequate metrics on cyber and privacy risk management. Only half of businesses across the world say they are building resilience to cyberattacks.

The report, which distilled insights from 3,000 business leaders in 81 territories, found that confidence in people, processes and technology is critical to building a secure digital world.

And, more than just mitigating risk, companies must thoroughly integrate and align cybersecurity concerns into their business strategy. In doing so, they might also gain a competitive advantage as a trusted provider in terms of safety, reliability, privacy and data ethics.

Rules for risk and resilience

“Only about half of medium-to-large global companies in key sectors said they are building resilience to cyberattacks and other disruptive events to a large extent,” explained Will O’Brien, director of PwC Ireland’s cyber practice.

“And fewer than half of them said that they are very comfortable their organisation has adequately tested its resistance to cyberattacks. It’s very important not only to have the controls documented but that they are also tested regularly. Constant monitoring and testing of technological infrastructure is critical to ensuring companies are resilient when a security breach occurs, and will also speed up recovery in the event of disruption. The importance of maintaining data integrity will only grow as companies make more data-driven decisions with the aid of artificial intelligence [AI].”

Around 70pc of survey respondents said they believed AI was critical for business success, yet only 31pc said they were confident their firm was building sufficient digital controls to adopt the technology.

A similar pattern emerged for robotic/automation and the use of drone technology, with 69pc and 55pc respectively saying they believe the technologies are critical for their future, yet only 33pc and 22pc respectively believing their organisation has applied sufficient digital controls to adopt or roll out the technology.

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of Siliconrepublic.com for 17 years.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com