Benchmark surveys: GCs, executives not prepared to defend against cyberbreaches - key protective steps

November 18, 2015

Michelle J. Anderson | Tara McGraw Swaminatha

Although cybersecurity has become a more prominent issue for executives and boards of directors, three recent benchmark surveys − the BDO Board Survey, the 2015 Consero Group’s General Counsel Data Survey, and the 2015 US State of Cybercrime Survey − indicate that a number of cyber-preparedness gaps remain.

Recent findings

The recently released BDO Board Survey revealed that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of corporate directors report their board is more involved with cybersecurity than it was 12 months ago, up from 59 percent in 2014. However, while BDO found that 70 percent of board members say they have increased company investments in cybersecurity, only 45 percent of corporate directors say their company has a cyberbreach/incident response plan in place. More than 20 percent of board members said they weren’t sure whether their company had such a plan.

These findings parallel a recent survey of Fortune 1000 general counsels. Thirty percent of the general counsels surveyed as part of the 2015 Consero Group’s General Counsel Data Survey reported having experienced a security breach in the preceding 12 months, and 21 percent cited data privacy and security as a top concern and priority − ahead of litigation (19 percent) and mergers and acquisitions (17 percent). Yet more than half (60 percent) of the general counsels surveyed do not feel their company is prepared to defend against a cyberbreach.

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