Only a fifth of IT decision makers in large multinational corporations are confident that their organisation is fully prepared against the threat of cybercriminals. The vast majority of companies feel constrained by regulation, available resources and a dependence on third parties when responding to attacks, according to new research from BT and KPMG.
While 94 per cent of IT decision makers are aware that criminal entrepreneurs are blackmailing and bribing employees to gain access to organisations, roughly half (47 per cent) admit that they don’t have a strategy in place to prevent it.
Majority experienced a cyber attack
The report also finds that 97 per cent of respondents experienced a cyber attack, with half of them reporting an increase in the last two years. At the same time, 91 per cent of respondents believe they face obstacles in defending against digital attack, with many citing regulatory obstacles, and 44 per cent being concerned about the dependence on third parties for aspects of their response.
“The industry is now in an arms race with professional criminal gangs and state entities with sophisticated tradecraft. The twenty-first century cyber criminal is a ruthless and efficient entrepreneur, supported by a highly developed and rapidly evolving black market,” said Mark Hughes, CEO Security, BT.
“With cybercrime continuing to escalate, a new approach to digital risk is needed – and that means putting yourself in the shoes of attackers. Businesses need to not only defend against cyber-attacks, but also disrupt the criminal organisations that launch those attacks.They should certainly work closer with law enforcement as well as partners in the cyber security marketplace.”
The expansion of strategic roles
The BT-KPMG report shows that Chief Digital Risk Officers (CDROs) are now being appointed to hold strategic roles which combine digital expertise with high-level management skills.
With 26 per cent of respondents confirming that a CDRO has already been appointed, the report’s data suggests that the security role and accountability for it is being re-examined.
Adjusting security budgets
The research also flags the need for budgets to be adjusted, with 60 per cent of decision makers reporting that their organisation’s cyber security is currently financed by the central IT budget while half of those (50 per cent) think it should come from a separate security budget. One major challenge identified by the report is the funding and scale of R&D spending that the criminals can bring to bear on breaching the defences of target companies.
“Businesses should be turning towards cybersecurity vendors that are using artificial intelligence in an attempt to make sense of the billions of data points collected by endpoint and gateways, scanners and other proactive intelligence systems. Machine learning is able to more quickly distinguish between good and bad behaviour, malicious IPs, websites and files. This means a far greater number of threats can be analysed, before it is passed to human researchers for a deeper analysis,” David Kennerley, Director of Threat Research at Webroot, told Help Net Security.