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While 94 percent of CIOs acknowledge some form of serious threat over the next 12 months, only 27 percent list business continuity and resilience as a top-three priority during the next 12 months and barely a third cite risk mitigation as a measure of performance. These findings come from a new release of results from the Logicalis 2021 Global CIO Survey.

The study which surveyed 1,000 CIOs from around the world, finds that nearly half of respondents (47 percent) see data breaches as the biggest risk to their organization (an increase of 6 percent from last year). Following data breaches, CIOs state malware and ransomware (39 percent) as other key areas of concern.

The perceived risk of a data breach is likely to have risen due to the increase in borderless workforces as employees continue to work from home or adopt hybrid working practices. When they occur, data breaches can lead to a range of issues from loss of business-critical data and stalled business growth, and in the most serious cases the complete shutdown of a business.

Less than a third of CIOs (30 percent) cite lack of staff awareness as a security issue, down from 50 percent last year. This perceived improvement in staff awareness is due in part to an emphasised investment in additional training and technology measures to mitigate security risks. In fact, over 50 percent of CIOs state their organizations invested in employee security training this year, probably to help prevent data breaches originating from employee activity.

Other areas of investment include:

  • Security technology: 66 percent
  • Business continuity planning: 40 percent
  • Third-party support through expert MSPs: 35 percent

However, CIOs still feel their organizations have a long way to go in investing in comprehensive security measures. Despite the rapidly increasing cyber security risks, more than half of businesses (55 percent) have yet to adopt a cyber attack recovery plan.

Toby Alcock, CTO of Logicalis says: “Over the last 18 months, many businesses set up interim solutions to cope with remote working with security and disaster recovery very much experiencing a trial by fire. Some measures worked, but more action is needed to secure hybrid workers and enhance business resilience.”

“Businesses should adopt a holistic security approach with the capabilities to detect and respond to threats before they even take place. Predictive outlooks will fully protect the hybrid workforce and empower them to deliver optimal results for customers. Adopting technology to mitigate risk will also help businesses adapt to future obstacles, whether cyber attack-related or further market disruption. With a comprehensive plan, created with advice from a trusted partner, companies can rest assured knowing they’re protected.”

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