60% of firms believe a major security event will hit in the next few years

Only 30 percent of 1,250 senior executives, management and security practitioners in the U.S., U.K. and Canada are confident their business will avoid a major security event in the coming two years and 60 percent believe an attack will hit in the next few years, according to eSentire.

avoid major security event

In terms of cyberattack preparedness in global organizations, the research also uncovered gaps between the C-suite, board and technical leaders. Among CEO and board members surveyed, 77 percent are optimistic in their firm’s ability to cope with a breach. This is in stark contrast to technical leaders on the front lines, who are approximately 20 percent more likely to predict an attack.

While confidence appeared high on the surface, it waned significantly when respondents were asked in detail about their firm’s preparedness: only about a third (33 percent) are confident that high-value assets and data are adequately protected and even fewer are confident their security teams have access to the appropriate resources (30 percent) or that they are spending adequately on security (29 percent).

AI and IoT will overtake cloud as biggest emerging technology risk

While the majority of organizations actively adopt emerging technologies, with cloud leading the charge (72 percent), the overall risk posed by cloud over the next three years drops by nearly 20 percent. The risks posed by the adoption of artificial intelligence doubles over the next three years and IoT/IIoT risks also rise nearly 30 percent.

Compliance no longer considered the top consequence

Operational disruption (66 percent), reputational damage and significant financial losses (54 percent) lead regulatory penalties (40 percent) as top consequences of a major security event. This trend will likely mark a shift from compliance-centric security to newer strategies that detect active attacks and reduce the risk of a business-altering outcome.

The CISO-Board connection grows stronger

More than half of respondents indicate their board is very familiar with the security budget (51 percent), overall strategy (57 percent), policies (58 percent), technologies (53 percent), and review current security and privacy risks (51 percent).

Moreover, 45 percent of security officers report to the board or CEO, marking a sign of greater security maturity when compared to the 33 percent that continue to report to the CIO and 10 percent that report to a data or privacy officer.

“Our research confirms IT teams are trapped in the innovator’s dilemma of meeting business demands through the adoption of new technologies, while shouldering the accountability for managing the risks and resulting damage associated with the exploitation of emerging technologies,” said Mark Sangster, chief security strategist, eSentire. “Fortunately, line of sight from the IT team to the board is improving, which often makes it easier to articulate security risks, obtain the required resources to mitigate those risks, and ultimately, better protect the business. The most mature organizations are doing this by moving beyond device and alert-focused approaches that often focused on tit-for-tat prevention technology and toward threat-based approaches that are both proactive and predictive.”

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