Digital transformations hindered by cyber risks


Global cybersecurity company, Forcepoint, has recently unveiled the results of an Australian study conducted by IT analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. Half of the respondents believed that digital transformation is hindered by cyber risks.

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By Darcy Song

Global cybersecurity company, Forcepoint, has recently unveiled the results of an Australian study conducted by IT analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. Half of the respondents believed that digital transformation is hindered by cyber risks.

The findings show that Australian businesses of all sizes have a concerning approach to digitalisation – in that they don’t involve cybersecurity considerations when designing and implementing transformation projects.

Surprising findings

  • 82 per cent of the respondents didn’t examine the level of cybersecurity until after their digital transformation projects had begun
  • 75 per cent of the companies excluded their C-level executives while preparing for potential cybersecurity breaches.

The cybersecurity of organisations during the execution of their digital transformation projects has room for improvement.

With 38 per cent of those surveyed admitting that they have encountered a security incident, 27 per cent of them still failed to conduct regular breach assessments in the last 12 months.

Alvin Rodrigues, Senior Director and security strategist Asia Pacific at Forcepoint, said that these alarming figures indicate that the senior management of Australian businesses underestimate the impact of cybersecurity incidents on their operations.

“Organisations today need to urgently to embrace ‘secure-by-design’ into their digital transformation projects,” he said.

“They also need to better harness cybersecurity to drive business growth and get board-level executives more involved in cyber risk management. There is a clear link between firms who involve their C-level execs and better security breach preparedness.”

Banks do best

Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors perform best in terms of having regular breach assessments; the survey suggested that the better cyber practices from these sectors may be driven by regulatory compliance.

Priorities not addressed

Interestingly, there is also an apparent mismatch between the level of concern and preparedness for different problems; while the problem of data exfiltration was seen as the most worrying, it scored the lowest priority in terms of preparedness.

Kenny Yeo, Industry Principal and Head of APAC Cyber Security Practice at Frost & Sullivan said these indications show Australian organisations are unready for the modern borderless age.

“Security leaders need to look beyond perimeter security, leverage automation, and have a better grasp of the psychology of both cybercriminals and their business users,” he said.

“Incorporating human-centric approach into the organization’s IT security architecture is certainly a way to identify potential risks and fend-off cyberattacks.”

With more than 60 per cent of the organisations experiencing more than one hour of service disruption internally and 71 per cent externally, the impact of cyberattacks is not to be underestimated.

Apart from financial losses and reputational damages, cyberattacks can also lead to the disruption of business growth in the long term.

Alvin advises that Australian organisations need to take on a proactive and dynamic security approach to be prepared of the sophisticated threat landscape today.

“Understanding digital identities and their related cyber behaviours, particularly as they interact with high-value data and intellectual property, is key to addressing the modern cybersecurity threat,”

“With a partner that can deliver behavioural intelligence integrated into cybersecurity solutions, CISOs can proactively pinpoint normal and abnormal behaviour within their hybrid IT environments and dynamically deliver automated, risk-adaptive security solutions.”

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