Do board members treat cybersecurity as a top priority?

Despite high profile cyberattacks continuing to occur, almost half of IT decision makers (ITDMs) at 250+ employee organizations around the world still believe that business executives are not making cybersecurity a significant enough priority or focus, according to Fortinet.

board members treat cybersecurity

Many IT professionals believe that the transition to the cloud as part of their organizations’ digital transformation will in turn make security a growing priority.

Board members are not treating cybersecurity as a top priority

48% of IT decision makers believe that IT security is still not a top priority discussion for the board. This doesn’t seem to affect budgets since 61% of enterprises stated that they spend over 10% of their IT budget on security, which is a high investment.

71% of the surveyed respondents said their IT security budget has increased from the previous year. Now, IT decision makers feel strongly that cybersecurity should become a top management priority with 77% of the respondents saying that the board should actually put IT security under greater scrutiny.

board members treat cybersecurity

Three key drivers for cybersecurity becoming a top priority

Increase in security breaches and global cyberattacks: In the last two years, 85% of businesses have experienced a security breach, with the most common vector of attack being malware and ransomware for 47% of respondents. 49% of ITDMs said there has been an increased focus on IT security following global cyberattacks, such as WannaCry. The scale and profile of global cyberattacks is bringing security to the attention of the board. Security is no longer just an IT department discussion.

Increased pressure from the regulators: Another important driver of board awareness is the proliferation of regulation, 34% of respondents reported. With major fines threatening the bottom line, such as the impending GDPR compliance for European data, the board now has a mandate to take interest.

Transition to the cloud as a catalyst for security priorities: As organizations look at migrating to the cloud as part of their digital transformation, 74% of IT security decision makers believe that cloud security is becoming a growing priority. 77% of the respondents also affirm that cloud security – along with the investment in security to support it – is becoming a key priority for the board. As a result, half of those surveyed (50%) are planning investment in cloud security in the next 12 months.