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Business Leaders Need To Step Up Their Game To Fight Cyber-attacks

Press Release – Accenture

Accentures State of Cyber Resilience report reveals more than half of organisations are not effectively defending themselves against cyber-attacks. More than half (55%) of large companies globally are not effectively stopping cyber-attacks, finding and …

Accenture’s State of Cyber Resilience report reveals more than half of organisations are not effectively defending themselves against cyber-attacks.

More than half (55%) of large companies globally are not effectively stopping cyber-attacks, finding and fixing breaches quickly, or reducing the impact of breaches, according to new research from Accenture.

The study also reveals that four in five respondents (81%) believe that “staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle and the cost is unsustainable” — an increase from 69% in last year’s survey. At the same time, while 82% of survey respondents increased their cybersecurity spending this past year, the number of successful breaches — which include unauthorised access to data, applications, services, networks or devices — jumped 31% over the previous year, to 270 per company, on average.

Accenture New Zealand Managing Director Ben Morgan says that these results reinforce what we have been seeing locally – in the last year there have been several incidents where high-profile organisations were targeted, and hackers successfully accessed personal information and caused significant disruption.

“Over the past year the Reserve Bank and the Waikato DHB have both been victims of cyber-crime, alongside some of our biggest banks and internet service providers. These attacks had different levels of severity, but they all led to disruption to day-to-day business and flow-on impacts for ordinary Kiwis.

“The scale of disruption that these attacks can cause should not be underestimated. Ransomware attacks tend to halt operations, like we saw during the banking and ISP outages earlier this year, over several days or weeks and cause significant impact for owners, employees and customers.

“As the year comes to an end, we want to see New Zealand businesses commit to doing more in 2022 to protect themselves from these threats.

“We’d like to see Kiwi businesses take a step back and consider how they’re putting together their cyber strategies. More than likely, the Chief Information Security Officer will be working in a silo and presenting a finished document to key decision makers.

“Our research shows that this approach won’t lead to the best outcomes. Instead, business leaders need to make sure cyber resilience and business priorities align. Chief Information Security Officers need to work with key decision makers, such as CEOs and CFOs, to develop a strategy that addresses cyber risk while fulfilling business priorities, which will enable them to better respond to potential threats.

“We know it will take time for businesses to change the way they work, but the reality is that it is only becoming more difficult to stop these attacks.

“Ultimately, we want to see less businesses fall victim to cyber-attacks and less Kiwis impacted by potentially having their personal information compromised – the best way to do this is for Kiwi businesses to act now to improve their cyber resilience.”

Based on a survey of more than 4,700 executives globally, Accenture’s State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 study explores the extent to which organisations prioritise security, the effectiveness of current security efforts, and how their security investments are performing.

To learn more Accenture’s research, download the State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 report here.

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