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Survey shows Aussie CEOs fear cyber attacks more than most

21 Jan 2019

Accenture has released the findings from its research 'Securing the Digital Economy: Reinventing the Internet for Trust', which revealed companies across the world could incur US$5.2 trillion in additional costs and lost revenue over the next five years due to cyber attacks.

Key highlights from the Australian results reveal that Australian companies are less confident in their internet security than their global counterparts, 22% compared to 30%. 

Further, almost three-quarters of Australian organisations (72%) say security weaknesses in third parties are becoming increasingly difficult to protect, in light of today’s internet complex ecosystems.

Based on a survey of more than 1,700 CEOs and other C-suite executives, the global report explores the complexities of the internet-related challenges facing business, as well as addressing imperatives for the CEO’s evolving role in technology, business architecture and governance

Commenting on the Australian findings, Joseph Failla, Accenture’s Security Lead for Australia and New Zealand, believes that business has a key role to play in securing the Internet’s future.

“Strengthening Australia’s internet security requires decisive and, at times, unconventional - leadership by CEOs, not just CISOs. Conventional thinking on cyber resilience needs to be taken to the next level by looking beyond the traditional boundaries of a single organisation.

“To become a cyber-resilient enterprise, companies need to start by bringing CISOs’ expertise to the board, ensuring security is built-in from the initial design stage and that all business managers are held responsible for security and data privacy.”

Other local research highlights:

Businesses have never been more dependent on digital and the Internet for growth

  • 10% of Australian companies relied on the internet for their business operations 10 years ago. Now it’s 100%.
  • 76% of business leaders say a trustworthy digital economy is critical to their organisation’s future growth.

The drive for digital innovation is introducing new risks and trust is eroding

  • 63% of organisations say their dependence on the internet is growing and cybersecurity risks are also increasing.
  • Only 22% of organisations, compared to 30% globally, are very confident in the security of the internet. And this is forecast to drop over the next five years to 17% (compared to global at 25%).

CEOs stand at a critical inflexion point with a new imperative to restore digital trust

  • Governance: 66% say cybersecurity challenges will require an organized group effort.
  • Business Architecture: 72% say security weaknesses in third parties are increasingly difficult to protect in the complexity of today’s internet ecosystems.
  • Technology: 77% are adopting new technologies faster than they can secure them.

Digital trust is the key to drive future business growth and shared prosperity

  • 75% of organisations say the economic potential of the Internet, and IoT, would be unleashed by building a more trustworthy digital economy.
  • According to Accenture, this equates to a cumulative total of $US 5.2 trillion over the next 5 years globally.
  • For CEOs of a G2000 company, this translates into a revenue opportunity of 2.8% - or an average of US$580 million annually - in each of the next five years.
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