Over the last couple of years, cyber-security has emerged as the No. 1 challenge facing organizations evolving into the digital age. And, it seems like just when one would think it can’t get any worse, it does get worse.
Breaches are the rise. Ransomware is out of control. And data theft is growing.
On the upside, awareness is on the uptick—although it would be difficult to imagine otherwise. According to a PwC report, Global State of Information Security Survey 2017, 59 percent of respondents have increased cyber-security spending as a result of digitizing their business ecosystem.
“There is a distinct transformation in how business leaders are viewing cybersecurity and technology—no longer seeing technology as a threat and understanding that cyber-security is a vital component that must be adopted into the business framework,” noted David Burg, PwC’s U.S. and Global Leader, Cybersecurity and Privacy.
In fact, whether this will have any appreciable impact remains to be seen. But the survey offers some insights into how things are unfolding. Among the key findings:
*The cloud is viewed more favorably. Today, 63 percent of survey respondents say they run IT services in the cloud. Approximately one-third of organizations were found to entrust finance and operations to cloud providers. This reflects a growing trust in cloud models.
*Employee training remains a top priority for data privacy. In all, 56 percent of respondents currently require employees to complete privacy training.
*Moving beyond passwords and adopting advanced authentication. Many businesses are turning to advanced authentication technologies to add an extra layer of security and improve trust among customers. The study found that 57 percent currently use biometrics for authentication.
*A security strategy for The Internet of Things (IoT) is on the enterprise radar. Organizations are beginning to update their cybersecurity standards and safeguards to reflect interconnected systems. Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents are investing in a security strategy for the IoT.
*Phishing is rampant. Phishing and its various permutations—including spear-fishing and whaling—are the most-cited vector for cyber-security incidents this year. Altogether, 43 percent of large enterprises reported phishing incidents.
How can the C-suite address these challenges without breaking the bank and constantly putting out fires? Said Burg: “To remain competitive, organizations today must make a budgetary commitment to the integration of cyber-security with digitization from the outset.”