Two in five have lost business due to poor cyber security

A recent study reveals that nearly two in five companies have lost business due to lack of cyber security expertise. The September 2019 study conducted by Forrester Consulting shows that cyber security performance is vital to achieve commercial success and a higher focus on security can make all the difference to business.

Based on a survey of 207 security decision-makers with responsibility for risk, compliance, and/or communications with boards of directors, the study reviews how organisational error and technological complexities can inhibit businesses from accomplishing realistic security performance management.

Business leaders understand that security is a key differentiator for securing growth, with nearly three quarters of C-level respondents saying that improved security performance measurement would significantly improve company financial performance. Demands for cyber security reporting has intensified according to the study, with 79% of security decision-makers surveyed saying they had witnessed an increase.

However, decision-makers say customers and partners receive some of the least accurate reporting of any security stakeholder, and 82% say that customer and partner perception of security is increasingly important, impacting the way their firm makes decisions.

The study also reports that cyber security risk ratings emerge as an early security metric bright spot with 45% of respondents using cyber security ratings, making it the third-most common metric overall. The study reveals that commercial success is threatened due to errors in efficiently measuring security performance and communicating this to external stakeholders.

Key weaknesses in measuring standards are revealed, highlighting that metrics are critical to improving communication around security performance. The study reveals companies that have formal security performance metrics in place are nearly two times more likely to develop security policies, update security technology and perform security trainings, than those that do not.

One out of five technically sound employees end up quitting their job if they find that the policies of the firm don’t comply with privacy norms, costing the firm £30,000 every time a skilled professional leaves the company, according to the study.

“Financial success, brand perception, business continuity and company reputation now all hinge on security performance,” said Tom Turner, CEO, BitSight, which commissioned the report. “But in order to effectively manage performance, you have to measure it. We think this study should serve as a...call for security leaders and their executives and boards to take a close look at their strategies for security performance measurement and reporting, after all, their businesses are now on the line.”

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