Cyber attack prevention, detection methods and cyber security innovation are on the rise as forward-leaning business leaders focus on solutions that reduce cyber security risks and improve business performance. This is according to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2016 , released recently by PwC US in conjunction with CIO and CSO. The survey examined how executives are looking towards new innovations and frameworks to improve security and mitigate enterprise risk.
As cyber risks become increasingly prominent concerns in the C-suite and boardroom, business leaders are increasingly rethinking cyber security practices, focusing on a nexus of innovative technologies that can reduce enterprise risks and improve performance. The vast majority of organizations (91 percent) have adopted a security framework, or more often, an amalgam of frameworks. These technologies are yielding considerable opportunities to improve cyber security and produce holistic, integrated safeguards against cyber attacks.
"We are seeing more of what we once saw as a risk, being turned into possible solutions," said David Burg PwC’s Global and US Advisory Cybersecurity Leader. "For example, many organizations are embracing advanced authentication as a cloud service in place of solely password based authentication."
The adapting of traditional cyber security measures to an increasingly cloud-based world is an example of this effort with considerable investments being made to develop new network infrastructure capabilities that enable improved intelligence gathering, threat modeling, defense against attacks and incident response. According to the report, 69 percent of respondents said they use cloud-based security services to help protect sensitive data and ensure privacy and the protection of consumer information.
Connected to the emergence of cloud-based systems, Big Data and the Internet of Things are each ascendant technologies that present a host of cyber challenges and opportunities. In the case of Big Data, often considered a cyber liability, 59 percent of respondents are leveraging data-powered analytics to enhance security by shifting security away from perimeter-based defenses and enable organizations to put real-time information to use in ways that create real value.
As the number of Internet connected devices continues to surge, the Internet of Things will inevitably increase the stakes for securing cloud-based networks. Investment intended to address these issues doubled in 2015, but at this point only 36 percent of survey respondents have a strategy specifically addressing the Internet of Things.
“There is no one-size-fits-all model for effective cyber security. It’s a journey toward a future state that starts with the right mix of technologies, processes, and people skills,” added Burg. “With those components in place, cyber security potentially serve as an indispensable ongoing business enabler.”
Over the past three years, the number of organizations that embrace external collaboration has steadily increased. Sixty-five percent of respondents report they are collaborating with others to improve security. As more businesses share more data with an expanding roster of partners and customers, it makes sense that they also would swap intelligence on cyber security threats and responses.
Additional key findings include:
- Information security spending increases: Respondents boosted information security spending significantly, reversing last year’s slight drop in security spending. This year respondents boosted their information security budgets by 24 percent in 2015.
- Evolving cyber security roles: 54 percent of respondents have a CISO in charge of the security program. The most frequently cited reporting structure is the CEO, CIO, Board and CTO, in that order.
- Increasing board involvement: 45 percent of boards participate in the overall security strategy. This deepening of Board involvement has helped improve security practices in numerous ways.
- Mobile payments going mainstream: 57 percent of respondents have adopted mobile payments systems - but the ecosystem continues to rapidly evolve as new partnerships are formed among a constellation of technology, financial, retail and telecommunications firms.
- Investing in insurance: technically adept adversaries will always find new ways to circumvent security safeguards. That's why many businesses (59 percent) are purchasing cyber security insurance to help mitigate the financial impact of cyber crimes when they do occur.
- Government surveillance impacting buying decisions: purchases in certain countries are either under review (34 percent) or happening less frequently (22 percent) as a result of hearing about reports that the government is conducting surveillance on hardware, software and/or services from certain countries.