Cyber resilience overtaking security compliance as top business priority: Deloitte

Latest survey also finds local businesses are underestimating their preparedness for preventing cyber-attacks

Cyber resilience is becoming a top business priority for the world’s largest technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies, according to Deloitte’s TMT Global Security Study.

The report found companies are shifting their cyber security from a compliance focus and will instead use 2013 as an opportunity to develop a robust information security strategy for managing their IT environments.

Not only is cyber risk a top technology priority for TMT businesses around the world but Deloitte Australia national security and resilience lead, Tommy Viljoen, said it is especially true in Australia.

“The proliferation of third party networks has weakened defence systems, and 59 per cent of the organisations surveyed acknowledged a security breach in the last year,” he said.

“In addition, less than half of the respondents reported having a plan in place to address a security breach.”

Despite all of this attention, the survey found that 88 per cent of businesses are not seeing their company as vulnerable, which leads to concerns to how well prepared they are to prevent cyber-attacks.

“The reality is that no organisation is 100% safe from a security breach,” Viljoen said.

“Businesses need to assume a breach will happen and prepare accordingly.”

Viljoen adds that the goal for businesses should be to create a flexible organisation that can “bounce back quickly from attacks,” and to that end it should shift its focus from “pure prevention to detection and response planning.”

Hello hactivism

This year’s survey also marked the first time hacktivism, which combines social or political activism with hacking and denial of service (DOS) attacks, was mentioned by respondents.

Hacktivism was rated a major concern by 63 per cent of participants, with Viljoen attributing to TMT organisations now recognising it as a “very real threat.”

“This vulnerability to hacktivism reflects that cyber-attacks can now come from anywhere, and be prompted by perceived controversial business practices and decisions, often highlighted through social media,” he said.

To better prepare for hactivism and other types of cyber crime, more than half of respondents admitted to collect general information and less than half have researched attacks that specifically targeting their organisation, industry, brand or customers.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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