The accelerating pace of digitalization, fuelled by COVID-19, has led to a record-breaking year for cybercrime, according to a new survey released yesterday at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda, in Switzerland.
The Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 reveals a wide perception gap between business executives, who think their companies are cyber resilient, and security leaders, half of whom disagree.
The report noted that the global digital economy has surged off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, just as cybercrime – ransomware attacks rose 151% in 2021.
There were on average 270 cyberattacks per organization during 2021, a 31% increase on 2020, with each successful cyber breach costing a company $3.6million.
After a breach becomes public, the average share price of the hacked company underperforms the NASDAQ by -3% even six months after the event.
The WEF’s new annual report also showed that 80% of cyber leaders now consider ransomware a “danger” and “threat” to public safety and there is a large perception gap between business executives who think their companies are secure and security leaders who disagree.
Commenting, WEF’s Cybersecurity Strategy Lead, Algirde Pipikaite, said: “We are at a crossroads, a point at which cyber resilience has become the defining mandate of our time – beyond foundational security controls – to anticipate future threats, withstand, recover from cyberattacks, and adapt to likely future digital shocks.”
Companies must now embrace cyber resilience – not only defending against cyberattacks but also preparing for swift and timely incident response and recovery when an attack does occur.
About 92% of business executives surveyed agree that cyber resilience is integrated into enterprise risk-management strategies, only 55% of cyber leaders surveyed agree.
This gap between leaders can leave firms vulnerable to attacks as a direct result of incongruous security priorities and policies.
As a result, Managing Director, WEF, Jeremy Jurgens, said: “Companies must now embrace cyber resilience – not only defending against cyberattacks but also preparing for swift and timely incident response and recovery when an attack does occur.”
On her part, Chair and CEO, Accenture, Julie Sweet, urged organizations to work more closely with ecosystem partners and other third parties to make cybersecurity part of an organization’s ecosystem DNA, so they can be resilient and promote customer trust.
“This report underscores key challenges leaders face – collaborating with ecosystem partners and retaining and recruiting talent. We are proud to work with the World Economic Forum on this important topic because cybersecurity impacts every organization at all levels,” she added.
Cybersecurity experts therefore insisted that training and closing the cyber gap are key solutions, which will include employee cyber training, offline backups, cyber insurance and platform-based cybersecurity solutions that stop known ransomware threats across all attack vectors.