Why it’s more important than ever


CEOs around the world recognize the crucial role cybersecurity plays in the growth and stability of their businesses, with an impressive 96% strongly agreeing. However, there is a twist in the story. A striking 74% of these same CEOs harbor nagging doubts about their organization’s ability to prevent or mitigate the emerging threats of a cyberattack.

In a recent Accenture report, this captivating contradiction takes center stage, demanding our attention and exploration. What is the source of this dissonance between recognizing the importance of the CEO Cyber ​​security and fearing their organizations’ ability to ward off the looming specter of cyberattacks?

In this article, we attempt to deconstruct CEOs’ beliefs about the importance of cybersecurity, as well as their simultaneous concerns about its implementation: a delicate balancing act arguably does not predict a resilient future for businesses.

The CEO’s perspective

As we dug deeper, we found that the report not only highlights the evolving CEO perspective on cybersecurity, but also highlights the imperative need for a more proactive, integrated, board-level approach. administration for this critical facet of business resilience.

First of all, the study highlights a predominantly reactive attitude of CEOs towards cybersecurity. A striking figure, 60% of CEOs admit that their organization fails to integrate cybersecurity into its core business strategies, services or products from the start.

This approach, the report suggests, puts businesses at higher risk of attack and increases subsequent costs incurred in response and remediation.

Additionally, the report highlights the misconception held by more than four in ten CEOs who view cybersecurity as an issue requiring episodic intervention rather than ongoing attention.

This reactive mindset, coupled with the erroneous belief of more than half (54%) of CEOs that the expenses associated with implementing cybersecurity exceed the costs associated with a cyberattack, can have serious repercussions.

“While it is reassuring to see the majority of business owners taking the appropriate steps – from employee training to software investments – to defend against the threat of a cyberattack or data breach, it is not This is not a one-off commitment,” said Bradley Schaufenbuel, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at Paychex.

He stressed the importance of reassessing and adjusting security protocols and methods to maximize protection against threats that have increased in recent years.

The report serves as a poignant reminder of real-life incidents, such as the case of a global shipping and logistics company whose breach led to a staggering 20% ​​drop in business volume, resulting in losses exceeding $300 million .

Despite the clear recognition of the central role of cybersecurity in building trust, the report highlights a critical gap in practice. Only 15% of CEOs dedicate dedicated board meetings to discussing cybersecurity issues.

This disconnect could be attributed to the prevailing belief among most CEOs that cybersecurity is squarely the purview of technical functions, primarily the CIO or chief information security officer.

“Cybersecurity is and will continue to be a critical element that is neglected or ignored only to return tenfold, if not multiplied, both in terms of costs, risks and associated business barriers, until it is no longer neglected and ignored at first glance. place,” said Michael Oberlaender, CISO for eight companies and board member of the FIDO Alliance.

He went on to say that companies that take cybersecurity seriously by integrating its fundamental aspect into their design, business objectives and even as a feature in their products or services – as enabled by actions such as “shift left” and SecDevOps, effective controls, adequate funding and prioritization – are poised for success and growth.

Companies that continue to ignore cybersecurity will face a never-ending stream of breaches and public shame (similar to the situation with MGM, Target, Equifax or others), and will bear the high cost in the future.

The Rise of Generative AI in CEO Cybersecurity

In Deep Instinct’s latest Voice of SecOps report, it was revealed that the global increase in attacks over the past year can be attributed to growing use of generative AI by threat actors.

Approximately 64% of CEOs expressed apprehensions about cybercriminals leveraging generative AI to orchestrate complex and evasive cyberattacks, encompassing activities such as phishing tactics, social engineering schemes and automated breaches.

In fact, Paolo Dal Cin, global head of Accenture Security, said proactive security measures are of increasing importance amid the accelerated development of generative AI. In the report, he notes that organizations often prioritize cybersecurity at the board and executive level only after experiencing a significant cyber incident.

To protect data, digital assets, regulatory compliance, business integrity and customer trust, Dal Cin emphasized the importance of integrating cybersecurity risk fits perfectly into an enterprise risk management framework.

Revealing the Gap: Cyber-Resilient CEOs versus Cyber ​​Laggards

The report clearly highlights the differences that emerge among CEOs in their approach to cybersecurity. Study identifies a group of “cyber-resilient CEOs” (5% of respondents) who excel to cybersecurity by taking proactive measures.

These business leaders place a high priority on integrating cybersecurity into their business plans, encouraging shared responsibilities, protecting digital infrastructure, extending cybersecurity beyond the walls of their organization and supporting continued resilience.

Conversely, “cyber laggard CEOs” (46%) appear receptive and inconsistent in implementing these preventative measures. Cyber-resilient CEOs take a proactive stance, resulting in reduced breach costs and better financial performance.

Bridging the gap

To bridge the gap between executives’ recognition of the importance of cybersecurity and their concerns about its implementation, companies must adopt a comprehensive strategy. First and foremost, a thorough cybersecurity strategy must be established.

This plan should integrate cybersecurity into the organization’s core objectives, linking it to the company’s goals and values. This approach ensures that cybersecurity is not an afterthought, but rather a core element integrated into all aspects of the business.

Another crucial pillar is that of employees training and awareness. Organizations should invest in continuing education initiatives to improve the cybersecurity knowledge of their staff. Employees, who are often the first line of defense, must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognize and successfully respond to possible threats.

Additionally, it is essential to encourage communication between CEOs and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). CEOs must work closely with CISOs to analyze and manage cybersecurity threats.

Collaboration must go beyond technical understanding and include strategic alignment. CEOs should promote cybersecurity as a vital business function, emphasizing its importance in protecting the organization’s brand and consumer trust.

Ultimately, the gap between CEOs’ recognition of the need for cybersecurity and their hesitation requires rapid action. To fill this gap, businesses must implement a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that aligns with their core objectives.

“In the age of unlimited information, our world has been transformed by the wonders of technology and digitalization, making life more convenient than ever. But in this incredible digital domain lies a challenge: security.

Your duty is clear: be the guardian of this digital frontier,” stressed Ravi ShankerChief Information Security Officer (CISO), Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

He emphasized that this is a joint effort rooted in continuous learning and proactive measures. By equipping individuals and organizations with wisdom and best practices, we can collectively fortify defensesguaranteeing a secure and promising future.

Therefore, investing in staff training, developing communication between CEO and CISO and making cybersecurity a priority at board level are all essential measures. Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights the importance for CEOs to proactively address this issue to ensure the resilience of their businesses in a rapidly expanding digital ecosystem.

Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only and users take full responsibility for their reliance on it. THE Cyber Express assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or consequences of the use of this information.

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