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Corporations Confident in Data Protection Programs but Scrutiny is Lacking, New Report Finds

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, a New York-based law firm with a technology, media and telecom (TMT) cybersecurity practice, has issued a new report that found a large percentage of companies remain unprepared to protect their data from the cyber challenges ahead.

Companies Confident Over Data Protection

By contrast, however, a “surprisingly” large percentage of companies are confident in their ability to protect their data, Pillsbury said in its report, entitled "Cybersecurity: Confidence or Crisis."

Pillsbury found that companies’ high level of confidence in their ability to protect confidential data may not match how carefully they scrutinize their cybersecurity programs. The report’s findings are based on interviews with corporate board members, C-suite executives and in-house counsel worldwide.

The Stakes Are High

Here are the study’s key findings:

  • While the vast majority of TMT and financial services executives are confident in their existing cybersecurity capabilities, only 34% of energy, mining & utilities respondents feel the same.
  • Only 2% of respondents said C-level executives have ultimate responsibility for cybersecurity concerns at their organizations
  • 1 in 6 does not have a dedicated in-house cybersecurity response team.
  • Just 51% of survey respondents possess dedicated cybersecurity insurance.
  • Only 47% have a corporate policy in place for responding to ransomware attacks.
  • 33 percent of respondents do not have staff actively tracking related legal developments.

Commenting on the report, Deborah Thoren-Peden, Pillsbury partner and cybersecurity, data protection and privacy co-leader, said:

"More and more companies are handling sensitive data, and some industry experts project global annual losses from cyber threats to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. While many companies feel pretty confident in their current cybersecurity infrastructure, the stakes are simply too high not to scrutinize their cybersecurity programs carefully, especially given the inconsistencies we've found through our survey."

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.