More consumers than ever before are using online options to engage with consumer-facing companies in our pandemic-altered environment, underscoring the ongoing importance of cybersecurity.
PwC’s annual survey of business and technology executives reveals that cybersecurity is now infused throughout organizations to increase resilience and fend off attacks. Lagging behind? Here’s what you need to do to catch up:
At consumer-facing companies, digital change has focused on:
At some consumer markets (CM) companies, CISOs are seen as transformational leaders (19%) or master tacticians (20%).
Ensure that business decisions reflect cybersecurity priorities. CISOs need to be equipped to respond to digital change. Ideally, they would combine the best of vision and tactics to lead CM companies with confidence in a digitally demanding environment.
Well over half (59%) of CM companies plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets. While consumers have told us they are already confident in the security of online shopping, they will need ongoing reassurance as they spend more time online.
As CM companies scramble to keep up with digital demands, cybersecurity becomes paramount. To align cyber spending to the most significant risks, start by quantifying cyber risk.
Cyber solutions have matured, prompted in large part by a threefold growth in cloud services. Almost one-fifth of CM companies are already realizing the benefits of accelerated cloud adoption.
Invest in technologies, processes and the capabilities of your people to make meaningful headway against attackers. Build cybersecurity hygiene mechanisms into cloud solutions at the outset.
"Aggregating information security risk and comparing it to all the various other risks that exist within the organization is powerful, and its how organizations should look at enterprise risk."
These vectors top the list of threats for CM companies:
A sizeable minority (40%) of CM companies plan to undertake greater resilience testing aimed at low-likelihood, high-impact events. Meanwhile, 46% told us that cybersecurity and privacy implications are inherent in every business decision.
Infuse cybersecurity into all business operations. Double down on resilience testing that puts both the business and technical response teams through their paces.
Half the executives we surveyed say they plan to add cybersecurity personnel over the next year. Roles and skillsets in demand include:
Readily available, highly skilled individuals from a variety of backgrounds are in demand. Hire from within and offer upskilling opportunities to increase current employees’ skills in key areas. Meeting ongoing cybersecurity challenges will require experienced talent ready to work collaboratively on analyzing information and tackling as-yet-undiscovered problems.
CM CISOs are well-positioned to lead boldly in today’s demanding digital environment. They’ve already won the trust of consumers who have told us they are comfortable shopping online. However, as more consumers migrate online for more of their shopping, travel and hospitality needs, CM CISOs will need to continue infusing cybersecurity into every aspect of the business while also managing costs. Anticipate and manage new risks while identifying and fixing existing vulnerabilities.
Private Consulting Solutions Leader, Chicago, PwC US
Cyber & Privacy Partner, PwC US