The global research reveals the disconnect between business decision makers and security teams, even as new risks from remote working and ransomware grow.
LogRhythm, the company that powers the security operations centers (SOCs), has published a report that reveals that 60 percent organizations were victims of a cyber-attack in the last two years, with 35 percent saying that no one was held accountable when these attacks happened. The report, “Security and the C-Suite: Making Security Priorities Business Priorities”, highlights the disconnect between business decision makers and IT security teams and its impact on budgets, strategy and business outcomes.
As per the research, 93 percent of IT security leaders don’t report directly to the CEO. On average, the respondents are three levels away from the CEO, which makes it very difficult to ensure that leadership has an accurate and complete understanding of security risks. 60 percent of respondents said IT security leaders should report directly to the CEO because it would create greater awareness of security issues across the organization.
“It is critical that IT security leaders have influence on resources, budgets and strategic priorities. We’ve seen the threat landscape evolve rapidly over the last 12-18 months and that means the C-Suite must understand and recognize changing risk profiles and empower IT security leaders to react. The impact of lockdowns and quarantines on cybersecurity should be a wake-up call that ensures there is accountability for cyberattacks from security teams through to the CEO,” said Andrew Hollister, Deputy CSO and VP Labs at LogRhythm.
“If there are security risks that are not being addressed, IT security leaders should be able to provide recommendations and concrete actions that the CEO and board can approve or reject,” he added.
Less than half of respondents (46 percent) say that senior leadership is confident that IT security leaders understand the business goals. Only 43 percent of respondents say their organization values and effectively leverages the expertise of IT security leaders.
“In the Middle East, lockdowns and quarantines associated with COVID-19 caused organizations to rapidly pivot to home working and that has changed their risk profile. New cyberthreats have been matched with risky user behaviours and this has created new challenges for IT security leaders. It is a complex environment that requires new processes and accountability,” said Mazen Dohaji, Vice President – (iMETA) India, Middle East, Turkey & Africa.
“Across the region, organizations are recognizing the need to not just deploy new cybersecurity technologies but ensure that IT security is understood and a priority in the C-Suite. IT security risks are ultimately business risks,” he added.
63 percent of respondents say that the top risk for them is phishing/social engineering type of attacks, and 60 percent of respondents say that it is the remote worker endpoint security and ransomware.
Remote working is creating new security challenges as the attack surface increases and employees may be more likely to engage in risky user behavior outside of familiar corporate environments:
- 73 percent of respondents say less secure home networks are used by employees in their organization.
- 68 percent of respondents say employees and contractors believe the organization is not monitoring their activities.
- 67 percent say a family member uses a work device.
Amidst these challenges, 54 percent of respondents are concerned about their job security, with 63 percent citing insufficient budget to invest in the right technologies as the main culprit. In addition, over half (53 percent) of respondents claim that senior leadership does not understand their role, and another 51 percent believe they lack executive support.
Ponemon Institute surveyed 1,426 IT security leaders all over Asia-Pacific, EMEA and the US on behalf of LogRhythm. Download the full report here: Security and the C-Suite: Making Security Priorities Business Priorities.
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