Despite spending more on cybersecurity, companies do not feel protected

Despite spending more on cybersecurity, companies do not feel protected
Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx.

Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx.

Although nearly three-quarters of the top 100 SA companies are investing more in cybersecurity than the industry average, an almost equal proportion do not feel fully protected by their existing cybersecurity strategy.

This was one of the findings of “The State of Cyber ​​Security in South Africa”, a study conducted by World Wide Worx on behalf of Intel and Dell SA, which surveyed IT decision makers and C-level executives from 100 companies .

When asked how much they invested in cyber security relative to what they saw as the industry average, 68% of companies said they had invested above the industry average.

“This suggests that cybersecurity is of a fairly high level of importance,” says Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx. “In fact, of those, 27% said they had invested well above the industry average and believed they were the industry leader in terms of cybersecurity investment.”

Security and commercial strategy.

However, he says the key question that goes hand-in-hand with how much they’ve invested is how important cybersecurity is to overall business strategy.

“This reveals the extent to which organizations understand how important cybersecurity is to not only keep the lights on, but also grow the business and achieve business goals,” adds Goldstuck.

Five years ago, perhaps half of respondents would have said cybersecurity is critical to business strategy, but in 2022, 91% of companies said it is very important to business strategy and another 8% said it is somewhat important In other words, 99% of top companies consider cyber security to be either critical to their business strategy or important to their business strategy.

Bryan Turner, Senior Data Analyst at World Wide Worx, says the report also focused on security frameworks and how companies use them. “When we asked companies what security frameworks they used, a large proportion of them took a mix of approaches using several different solutions together.”

About 60% of the companies that participated in the survey had hired external companies to manage their cyber security, while another 40% said they were using out-of-the-box solutions managed internally.

Turner says cybersecurity is like data insurance if a company doesn’t pay for it, they are likely to regret it.

“Looking at real solutions, there seems to be a consensus on a particular technology VPN access to internal systems. And an overwhelming 98% of companies said they use this technology, which has become much more popular since the inception of remote work. In addition, security managed by the cloud platform was also highlighted, proving once again how important it is to have a cloud-first remote work setup.”

Furthermore, the vast majority (99%) of organizations are aware that disaster management is crucial. “However, this figure must be seen in the context that only 40% of large enterprises use multiple solutions to protect, back up and replicate their data in the event of a disaster. That said, the majority of respondents (99%) had not experienced cyberattacks resulting in financial loss,” adds Turner.

The 1% that experienced loss after a data breach provides a useful case study of security postures after an attack: These businesses had their systems compromised before the start of remote work, indicating that no matter how a company geographically locate your employees, you are still vulnerable . The event, Turner says, cost this entity a whopping 1 million rand, just because of a data leak.

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