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Study finds no accountability for cyberattacks within organisations

By Shannon Williams, 25 Jun 2021

There is a global disconnect between business decision makers and security teams, despite new risks from remote working and the growth in ransomware, a new report has found.

The report, Security and the C-Suite: Making Security Priorities Business Priorities from LogRhythm, reveals 60% of organisations were victims of a cyberattack in the past two years, with 35% saying no one was held accountable when these attacks occurred. 

According to the research, 93% of IT security leaders do not report directly to the CEO. On average respondents are three levels away from the CEO, which makes it very difficult to ensure that leadership has an accurate and complete understanding of security risks. Sixty percent of respondents said IT security leaders should report directly to the CEO because it would create greater awareness of security issues throughout the organisation.  

"It is critical that IT security leaders have influence on resources, budgets and strategic priorities," says Andrew Hollister, deputy CSO and VP Labs at LogRhythm.

"We have seen the threat landscape evolve rapidly over the last 12-18 months and that means the C-Suite must understand and recognise changing risk profiles and empower IT security leaders to react. 

"The impact of lockdowns and quarantines on cybersecurity should be a wake-up call that ensures there is accountability for cyberattacks from security teams through to the CEO," he says.

"If there are security risks that are not being addressed, IT security leaders should be able to provide recommendations and concrete actions that the CEO and board can approve or reject."

Less than half of respondents (46%) say senior leadership has confidence that the IT security leaders understand the business goals. Only 43% of respondents say their organization values and effectively leverages the expertise of IT security leaders. 

Kev Eley, VP Sales Europe at LogRhythm, says the rapid move to remote working has created a whole range of risks for IT security teams. 

"The research shows that this is now the biggest cybersecurity challenge facing organisations," he says.

"Work from anywhere scenarios have to shape security strategies and will require new budget and resource to manage. Any major shift in user behaviour requires security teams and organisations as a whole to review, revamp and strengthen their security posture," Eley says.

"This makes collaboration and communication between the C-Suite and IT security teams essential." 

According to the report, 63% of respondents say their top risk is phishing/social engineering attacks, and 60% of respondents say it is the remote worker endpoint security and ransomware. Remote working is creating new security challenges as the attack surface is increased and employees may be more likely to engage in risky user behaviours outside of the familiar corporate environment.

Seventy three precent of respondents say less secure home networks are used by employees in their organisation, while 68% of respondents say employees and contractors believe the organisation is not monitoring their activities. Some 67% say a family member uses a work device. 
 
Amid these challenges, 54% of respondents are worried about their job security, with 63% citing insufficient budget to invest in the right technologies as a main culprit. Further, more than half (53%) of respondents claim senior leadership does not understand their role, and another 51% of respondents believe that they lack executive support. 

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