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The dawn of the cyber savvy CEO

The recent surge in cyber attacks has forced organizations to align cyber security efforts across all of their operations, rather than focusing on IT; but CEOs now need to take the lead in protecting their organizations, according to a new PwC white paper.

In ‘The Cyber Savvy CEO – Delusions of safety?’ PwC calls on private and public sector leaders to gain a better understanding of the cyber threats they are facing and outlines six key steps necessary to be cyber-ready.

The supporting Global State of Information Security Survey polled 9,600 executives worldwide. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of 733 UK respondents said the increasingly aggressive risk environment, fuelled by the global economic downturn, has boosted the importance of the security function.

Disturbingly though, the increased profile of cyber security is not being matched by the amount being spent on shoring up organizations from the threat of attacks. Only 35 percent of UK respondents said they plan to spend more on information security over the next year, compared to the global figure of 51 percent.

William Beer, a director in PwC’s information and cyber security practice, said:

“Executives have traditionally focused on the rewards stemming from operating in the cyber environment and not on the risks. Confidence in the cyber environment can be misleading, and many organizations have delusions of safety. Operating securely in the cyber environment is among the most urgent issues facing organizations today and the time has now come for them to get involved.”

In other findings, PwC finds that the rise of cloud computing had improved, but also complicated, the security landscape. 39 percent of organizations said cloud technologies had improved security while 30% percent claimed it had increased vulnerability, and the largest risk to cloud computing was the inability to coherently enforce provider security policies.

Mobile devices and social media also represent a significant new line of risk – and a demand for prevention. Organizations are beginning to ramp up their efforts to prevent mobile and social media based attacks. In terms of security around employees’ personal devices, the UK lagged the rest of the world.

The white paper can be found here: http://www.pwc.co.uk/cybersavvyceo

•Date: 16th September 2011 • Region: UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: ISM news

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