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Why getting the C-Suite and technology teams on the same page is the biggest Cyber Security challenge of 2017

Greater cyber resiliency will never be achieved unless we bridge the gap between the C-Suite and IT decision makers. It’s the greatest challenge for businesses responding to the cyber defence challenge.
Getting the C-suite and technology teams on the same page is the biggest cyber security challenge of 2017When discussing cyber security, it is unusual that the biggest issue being faced is one of communication and structure. Often the discussion is focused on outside threats, new actors, new attack vectors or malware with exotic names.
 
Our recently conducted research into the thoughts, fears and aspirations of the business community discovered the barriers to cyber resiliency often come from within. Insight was gathered from over 1,200 C-Suite executives and IT decision makers at the coal face and illustrates the challenges faced by the industry.
 
Interestingly, one thing they can all agree on is cyber security represents the most significant business challenge. Globally, 71% of C-Suite respondents and 72% IT decision makers expect to be targeted by a cyber attack over the next 12 months.
 
However, this shared vision ends as different threats being faced across business units resulting in different priorities and disagreement over who is responsible and accountable for successful breaches. This disconnect could expose weakness, so it is crucial that businesses work to address any intelligence gaps, recognising that all employees have a responsibility when it comes to cyber security.
 
There is also a lack of understanding when it comes to the cost of a successful breach, which many underestimate. It isn’t just about what the thieves get away with in a successful cyber attack, because there can be far reaching implications such as the company’s share price taking a hit, lost consumer trust or fines.
 

Taking a proactive approach

 
Reassuringly, there is a huge degree of confidence in the defences that businesses have put in place – despite a universal expectation that the sophistication and volume of attacks will continue to increase. A forward looking, strategic approach to cyber defence is important to stay ahead. As the threat evolves, it isn’t just about tracking known threats, but taking a proactive approach and working to understand new, unknown cyber threats.
 
As threats constantly evolve, successful cyber-attacks regularly make headline news, and compliance burdens grow, organisations need to ensure the boardroom and IT teams are working together to narrow gaps in understanding, intelligence and responsibility.
 
Greater cyber resiliency will never be achieved unless we bridge the gap between the C-Suite and IT decision makers. It’s the greatest challenge for businesses responding to the cyber defence challenge.
 
To discover all of the data and insight into the readiness of businesses to deal with cyber attacks, download the 2017 Cyber Defence Monitor report.
 
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Alex Taverner, Asia-Pacific Head of Commercial Cyber Services 14 March 2017