24% of businesses expect a cyberattack within the next 90 days

By:  Jamie Davies

Research from VMWare has highlighted 24% of office workers and IT decision makers believe their organization will be the victim of a cyberattack with the next 90 days, mainly due to the belief that the threats are advancing at a faster pace than a company’s defences.

Although the statistics imply the event of a cyberattack is becoming normalized within the industry, the findings do also suggest investments from enterprise organizations are not meeting the demanding trends of security, as 39% of the respondents believe one of the greatest vulnerabilities to their organisation to a cyberattack is threats moving faster than their defences.

“The issue around accountability is symptomatic of the underlying challenge faced as organisations seek to push boundaries, transform and differentiate, as well as secure the business against ever-changing threats”, commented Joe Baguley, CTO of VMware in EMEA. “Today’s most successful organisations can move and respond at speed as well as safeguard their brand and customer trust. With applications and user data on more devices in more locations than ever before, these companies have moved beyond the traditional IT security approach which may not protect the digital businesses of today.”

While security could be seen as something of a sound-bite for board-level execs in recent months, the importance of spreading cybersecurity awareness and responsibility throughout the organization have been made clear by the IT department. Of the IT decision makers who were surveyed as part of the research, 22% said the board should be most aware of the necessary actions to take following a significant data breach, and 40% said the CEO should be this person.

Industry insiders have commented to BCN in recent weeks that the use of security comments by execs highlighted the importance of cybersecurity has been an effort to appease customers and stakeholders, and there is little follow through in terms of investment in new technologies. Research from the Economist Intelligence Unit also backs up these comments as its own survey said only 5% of UK corporate leaders consider cyber security a priority for their business, contradicting comments made by execs in the press.

Shadow IT was another area which featured in the report, as unauthorized devices and software are seemingly still plaguing IT decision makers throughout the industry. 55% of the IT decision makers surveyed believe their own employees are the greatest security threat a company faces, which is also backed up by the statistics that 26% would use their personal device to access corporate data and almost a fifth, 16%, would risk being in breach of the organisation’s security to carry out their job effectively.

“Security is not just about technology. As the research shows, the decisions and behaviours of people will impact the integrity of a business,” said Baguley. “However, this can’t be about lock-down or creating a culture of fear. Smart organisations are enabling, not restricting, their employees – allowing them to thrive, adapt processes and transform operations to succeed.”