Mind the gap

BY Richard Summerfield

One need only pick up a newspaper to see the importance of developing a robust and comprehensive cyber security programme. Data breaches have, in recent years, emerged as one of the most pressing corporate issues of our time. In light of this rising threat,  many companies are pouring millions of dollars and thousands of manpower hours into shoring up their cyber defences.

However, an ‘accountability gap’ is opening up in the world of cyber security, suggests Tanium and NASDAQ in a new report. According to the study, which surveyed 1530 non-executive directors, c-level executives, chief information officers and chief information security officers across the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, 40 percent of executives believe that they feel no responsibility for the impact any cyber attack might have.

Furthermore the Tanium/NASDAQ survey suggests that among the most vulnerable companies, 98 percent of business leaders are not confident in their organisation’s ability to monitor all devices and users at all times. More than 90 percent of respondents said that they are unable to read a cyber security report and are not prepared to handle a major attack. Further, only 10 percent of those surveyed agreed that they are regularly updated with information about the types of cyber security threats to their business.

Worryingly, only 9 percent of executives claimed that their systems were updated regularly in response to new cyber threats. Given the speed, agility and inventiveness demonstrated by cyber criminals in recent years, this inability or unwillingness to adapt is an alarming revelation in a business landscape pockmarked with risk.

Cyber crime, as the scandal around the ‘Panama Papers’ has recently reiterated, is a looming, ever present threat. Companies must do more to address their yawning accountability gap, before they find themselves in the headlines.

Report: The Accountability Gap: Cybersecurity & Building a Culture of Responsibility

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