CEOs Underestimate Cyber Vulnerabilities

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    More than 80 per cent of chief executive officers (CEOs) are very confident in their firm’s cybersecurity strategies, despite the fact that security incidents have surged 66 per cent year over year since 2009, says a study by RedSeal. “CEOs are underestimating their companies’ cyber vulnerabilities,” says Ray Rothrock, chairman and CEO of RedSeal. “Their confidence does not square with what we observe. Cyber-attacks are up and financial losses associated with these attacks are increasing dramatically.” Specifically, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ ‘2015 Global State of Information Security Survey’ projects that financial losses from cyber-attacks will jump from $500 billion in 2014 to more than $2 trillion in 2018. While CEOs remain confident that their cyber strategies are well equipped to handle the risks facing their company networks, there is a disconnect between their perception and reality. The RedSeal study finds that half of CEOs still prioritize keeping hackers out of the network versus just 24 per cent who were concerned with building capabilities to deal with hackers who have successfully breached their network’s perimeter defenses. “The new cyber battleground is inside the network, not at the perimeter,” says Rothrock. “Firewalls, virus detectors, and malware scans are required to keep out 99 per cent of the bad guys, but the one per cent who get in can cripple a firm, critical infrastructure, or a government agency.”