As the digital economy expands, cybersecurity threats will multiply. Companies that think cybersecurity is an IT problem have already been hacked by the future. The shocking reality is that 49% of businesses fell victim to cyber-based ransom attacks in 2016, and according to Cybersecurity Ventures the costs of redressing cybercrime damage are set to hit a jaw-dropping $6 trillion per annum by 2021. Asia-Pacific leaders know they are not fully prepared, with 55% of them admitting their security strategy is more reactive than proactive. What's worse, nearly 40% of Asia-Pacific organizations took 24 hours to identify a security breach, while 30% took a week to months. Numerous additional incidents likely escaped the business's notice. Moreover, 77% of regional companies suffered loss of reputation and brand value as a result of a breach in additional to remediation costs.
Leaders see the situation worsening, with 60% saying there are more emerging threats than they can currently control, illustrating that the underlying IT infrastructure is ill-equipped for the new machine age. Data is the biggest digital asset today, and protecting it (customer data, financial data, marketing data, IP data, etc.) means protecting your business. Brand loyalty is the result of trust cultivated over many years, but it can be destroyed in a day. With business success today centred on the use of consumer data, trust has become the new battleground for digital success. It's an uphill battle for organizations to keep their brand and consumer trust intact. With so much at stake, companies can't afford to take their foot off the pedal in matters of security. It is essential for cyber-security to move beyond a watercooler topic to a key agenda point for boardroom discussions so that concrete decisions can be made.
By 2020, cybersecurity will become the number#1 business priority for Asia-Pacific organizations. Online security threats are now a fact of life, moving organizations' ability to mitigate risk from an inconvenient need to a necessary competitive advantage. As data and hybrid environments continue to grow at an exponential rate, creating more IT infrastructure complexity, it is increasingly challenging for IT to protect their companies' brand, while ensuring smooth operations. Two proactive approaches from IT will help businesses achieve their number one business priority:
Cybersecurity has already gone beyond a human phenomenon. In the same way that smartphones have become an extension of our persona, artificial intelligence and automation will become the new face of consumer trust. We'll see much bigger and more sophisticated attacks in the future, and companies need to be prepared for the coming of new age of cyber threats.