Global companies could incur $5.2 trillion in cybercrime costs and lost revenue associated with cyberattacks over the next five years, according to a survey of more than 1,700 business leaders conducted by Accenture.
Key findings from the Accenture "Securing the Digital Economy: Reinventing the Internet for Trust" survey included:
- 80 percent of business leaders said protecting their companies from third-party security weaknesses is becoming "increasingly difficult."
- 79 percent noted digital economy advancement "will be severely hindered" unless dramatic Internet security improvements take place.
- 76 percent indicated that consumers cannot trust the safety of their online identities due to the fact that too much of their personal data is already available without restrictions.
- 75 percent said addressing cybersecurity challenges will require an organized group effort.
- 56 percent want stricter Internet security regulations imposed by a central organization or governing body.
Today's business leaders often understand cyber threats and are increasing their cybersecurity investments accordingly, Accenture said. However, business leaders also must collaborate with executives, government leaders and regulators to develop principle-based standards and policies to safeguard the Internet.
How Can Business Leaders Address Internet Security Threats?
Accenture offered the following recommendations to help business leaders keep pace with evolving Internet security threats:
- Create an Industry-Wide Internet Code of Security: Business leaders can promote the development and implementation of ethical codes of conduct for software professionals across their respective industries.
- Encourage Consumers to Take Control of Their Digital Identities: Business leaders can teach consumers about Internet security and offer tools and resources to help them secure their digital identities.
- Be Transparent About Cyberattacks: Business leaders can acknowledge cyberattacks and share details about these incidents with consumers and other key stakeholders.
- Embed Security into a Business Architecture: Business leaders can make security a part of all aspects of a company, including its business model and leadership structure.
- Make All Lines of Business Accountable: Business leaders can offer incentives to business-line managers who prioritize cybersecurity in their day-to-day activities.
Business leaders frequently deploy security strategies that address past cyber threats, Accenture indicated. Yet business leaders who frequently evaluate the cybersecurity landscape are better equipped than ever before to protect their companies against cyberattacks both now and in the future.