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U.S. CEOs Making “Significant” Cybersecurity Investments: KPMG Survey

Many C-suite executives are targeting "significant" cybersecurity investments over the next few years, according to a new survey of 400 U.S. CEOs conducted by professional services company KPMG.

The KPMG "U.S. CEO Outlook 2017" revealed 75 percent of CEOs said they expect to make significant cybersecurity investments and believe these investments will help them find new revenue streams and drive innovation.

The U.S. CEO Outlook 2017 highlighted many CEOs' confidence in growth, the U.S. economy and their organization's ability to seize the disruption opportunity, according to KPMG.

Ultimately, the outlook showed CEOs expect to make significant investments in the following areas:

  • Cyber.
  • Digital infrastructure.
  • Emerging technology.
  • Regulatory compliance.

The outlook also revealed the areas of greatest investment in technology for CEOs over the next three years are:

  • Data analytics (61 percent).
  • Cognitive technologies (58 percent).
  • Internet of Things (55 percent).

Meanwhile, many CEOs are looking to complete "an internal reboot" and may look to technology partners to accelerate their organization's growth, KPMG noted.

"Every sector in the survey is snapping up new technologies," KPMG wrote in its survey report. "Established brands and emerging players are partnering with technology leaders and start-ups to acquire the skills and capabilities to drive their next-generation products and services. These new partnerships aim to overcome tech complexity and a lack of skills  knowledge that CEOs view as their biggest barriers to success."

CEOs Have Data, Digital and Sensory Concerns

The outlook showed many CEOs have data, digital and sensory concerns, which is reflected in the following survey results:

  • 57 percent of CEOs said their organizations do not have the sensory capabilities and innovative processes to respond to disruption.
  • 49 percent stated they are concerned about the integrity of the data that are driving their decisions.
  • 17 percent noted they are concerned about integrating cognitive processes and artificial intelligence capabilities.

Comparatively, 46 percent of CEOs said they are "highly confident" about their organization's growth prospects over the next three years, the survey indicated.

Average Cybersecurity Breach Cost Falls

Cybersecurity is a top concern for many CEOs, but the costs associated with data breaches are declining.

This year's "Cost of Data Breach Study" of 419 organizations conducted by security research firm Ponemon Institute and IBM Security revealed data breaches now cost companies an average of $141 per lost or stolen record, down from $158 in 2016.

Data breaches are "an unfortunate reality" for many of today's organizations, Ponemon Institute founder Dr. Larry Ponemon said in a prepared statement.

However, an organization that identifies and addresses the root causes of data breaches may be better equipped than others to mitigate cyber risks, Ponemon noted.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.