Just one-fifth of IT leaders ‘well prepared for cyber attacks’

Just one-fifth of IT leaders ‘well prepared for cyber attacks’ [Image: littlehenrabi via iStock]

Cyber crime threats have reached an all-time high, yet just around a fifth of the world’s IT leaders are well prepared for a cyber attack.

This is according to the 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.

It also found that boards are increasing their investment in data security and privacy as they hurry to become GDPR compliant, as well as to avoid highly damaging data breaches, which have reached an all-time high.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) more respondents to the survey are prioritising improvements in cyber security than in 2017, while managing operational risk and compliance has also become a significantly increased priority (up 12 per cent).

These two areas represent the fastest growing IT priorities of company boards.

The report found that chief information officers (CIOs) continue to pay significant attention to data trust and privacy threats. In addition, 77 per cent of IT leaders are ‘most concerned’ about the threat of organised cyber crime. This is up from 71 per cent last year. Just over one-fifth (22 per cent) state they are well-prepared for a cyber attack.

Albert Ellis, CEO of the Harvey Nash Group, said: “CIOs have a really difficult tightrope to walk. On one hand the board is asking them to drive innovation, promote transparency and following recent high profile data breaches, ensure the responsible use of customer data throughout the organisation.

“On the other hand, the board is increasing scrutiny and demanding improved reporting on cyber security, data integrity and resilience, as regulators and consumers become much more demanding on personal data.”

He added that the organisations that can achieve the balance between innovation and governance will be in the strongest position to compete.