Today’s accelerated pace of digital transformation brings significant opportunities for businesses to grow and drive value for shareholders. At the same time, the rise of connected enterprises, remote workforces, and digital payments, among other things, has increased the risk of cyber breaches, ransomware and malware attacks.
For technology companies that sit at the apex of this accelerating pace of change, cyber security is increasingly becoming a top priority. According to the 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook:
- 31% of global technology CEOs report cyber security as the greatest threat to their organization’s growth over the next three years
- 39% noted cyber security resiliency as their top operational priority
- Yet only 19% report they are very well-prepared for a future cyber-attack
Regardless of how prepared a company is to address cyber risk, it’s an area that requires ongoing investment and vigilance. Below are three ways to further increase cyber defenses.
In today’s increasingly interconnected environment, it’s clear that companies can no longer go it alone. In fact, 81% of technology CEOs surveyed believe that it will take an industry-wide approach to properly address the issue of ransomware.
Recently, this was validated when leaders from the largest U.S. technology companies joined with members of the Biden Administration to discuss ways to collectively strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity. Together, the companies pledged more than $31 billion towards the effort, including 250,000 new jobs.
Think differently about talent
Competition for talent in high demand areas like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence is fierce, but technology companies may already have a leg-up. Leaders at these organizations should look within their four walls for professionals who have the right skillset and retrain or upskill existing workers to address the changing security ecosystem.
Alternatively, technology leaders not already capitalizing on the hot M&A market in the sector should consider whether a strategic acquisition that would quickly add cyber talent to the organization is viable.
Build a cyber-first culture
It’s no longer enough to have the right security protocols in place from a technology perspective; it is more important than ever to strengthen the governance around operational resilience, enabling companies to recover from any incidents. Establishing a strong digital and cyber risk culture, championed by senior leaders, with a shared responsibility among employees, is also crucial.
With escalating cyber, ransomware and other attacks, business leaders need to take ongoing steps to defend their organizations from bad actors whose methods are constantly evolving. To continue to meet the needs of customers, employees, suppliers, and society, cyber security is clearly top of mind for CEOs of tech companies. Those who continuously remain focused on this area will build trust and create a competitive advantage.
About the Authors:
Mark Gibson, KPMG U.S. Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader
Alex Holt, KPMG Global Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications