More than 80 percent of cybersecurity professionals believe that their employer will experience a “catastrophic” data breach within the next three years, and 66 percent believe that it could “seriously diminish” shareholder value, according to a global study released on Wednesday.
Despite growing threats, the survey conducted by Raytheon and the Ponemon Institute found that just 36 percent of the 1,100 senior-level IT professionals and global IT security practitioners surveyed believe that cybersecurity is considered a priority by senior leadership.
“Our hope is that CISOs and senior leaders can use this report as a tool to start a deep dialogue about the critical need for cybersecurity within their organizations,” Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas Kennedy said. “Every day the cyber threat is growing more sophisticated and aggressive, posing a real threat to global businesses across all sectors. To reduce risks, leaders must urgently work with their IT teams to identify potential vulnerabilities, develop an action plan and make the investments needed to protect the value of their organization.”
Sixty-seven percent of respondents believe that cyber extortion facilitated by ransomware and data breaches will “increase in frequency and payout.” Sixty percent predict that nation-state attacks against private businesses will grow worse and could lead to cyberwar.
“Conversations around cybersecurity resiliency are happening among our nation’s top intelligence chiefs, yet business leaders still have not made cybersecurity a business priority,” Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute, said. “This important research reveals an urgent need for executives to appropriately address cyber threats against their organizations.”
The percentage of IT professionals who believe that cybersecurity will improve dropped from 59 percent in 2015 to 46 percent in the most recent survey. Additionally, 60 percent of respondents expect that their employers will need to spend more money to achieve regulatory compliance and to prevent or resolve lawsuits and litigation.