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Only 22% of firms confident in internet security

Monday, 21 January, 2019

Only 22% of firms confident in internet security

Less than a quarter of Australian companies feel confident in their internet security, according to new research from Accenture.

The Securing the Digital Economy: Reinventing the Internet for Trust report, released ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos next week, reveals that companies across the world could incur US$5.2 trillion in additional costs and lost revenue over the next five years due to cyber attacks.

Based on a survey of more than 1700 CEOs and other C-suite executives, the global report explores the complexities of the internet-related challenges facing business, as well as addressing imperatives for the CEO’s evolving role in technology, business architecture and governance.

Key highlights from the Australian results reveal that Australian companies are less confident in their internet security than their global counterparts, at 22% compared to 30%. Further, almost three quarters of Australian organisations (72%) say security weaknesses in third parties are becoming increasingly difficult to protect, in light of today’s internet complex ecosystems.

Joseph Failla, Accenture’s Security Lead for Australia and New Zealand, believes that business has a key role to play in securing the internet’s future.

“Strengthening Australia’s internet security requires decisive — and, at times, unconventional — leadership by CEOs, not just CISOs. Conventional thinking on cyber resilience needs to be taken to the next level by looking beyond the traditional boundaries of a single organisation.To become a cyber-resilient enterprise, companies need to start by bringing CISOs’ expertise to the board, ensuring security is built-in from the initial design stage and that all business managers are held responsible for security and data privacy,” he said.

The research finds that 10% of Australian companies relied on the internet for their business operations 10 years ago; now, it’s 100%. Furthermore, 76% of business leaders say a trustworthy digital economy is critical to their organisation’s future growth. Other findings are listed below.

The drive for digital innovation is introducing new risks and trust is eroding:

  • 63% of organisations say their dependence on the internet is growing and cybersecurity risks are also increasing.
  • Only 22% of organisations, compared to 30% globally, are very confident in the security of the internet. This is forecast to drop over the next five years to 17% (compared to global at 25%).

CEOs stand at a critical inflection point with a new imperative to restore digital trust:

  • Governance: 66% say cybersecurity challenges will require an organised group effort.
  • Business architecture: 72% say security weaknesses in third parties are increasingly difficult to protect in the complexity of today’s internet ecosystems.
  • Technology: 77% are adopting new technologies faster than they can secure them.

Digital trust is the key to drive future business growth and shared prosperity:

  • 75% of organisations say the economic potential of the internet, and IoT, would be unleashed by building a more trustworthy digital economy.
  • According to Accenture, this equates to a cumulative total of $US 5.2 trillion over the next five years globally.
  • For CEOs of a G2000 company, this translates into a revenue opportunity of 2.8% — or an average of $US 580 million annually — in each of the next five years.

Image credit: © Sinha

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