Increased ransomware attacks and global threats tempering executive confidence in cyber preparedness

30 May 2022 — Andrei Victor
The toll of almost three years of unrelenting workplace disruption, digital transformation and ransomware attacks means most leaders are no more confident in their ability to manage cyber risk than they were two years ago, according to a new report published by insurance broker Marsh and Microsoft Corp.

The report, The State of Cyber Resilience, questioned over 660 cyber risk decision makers globally and analyzes how cyber risk is viewed by various functions and executives in leading organizations, including cybersecurity and IT, risk management and insurance, finance, and executive leadership.

According to the report, leadership confidence in their organization's core cyber risk management capabilities - including the ability to understand/assess cyber threats, mitigate/prevent cyber-attacks, and manage/respond to cyber-attacks - is largely unchanged since 2019, when 19.7% of respondents stated they were highly confident, compared to 19% in 2022.

"Given the continued rise of ransomware and the current tumultuous threat landscape, it is not surprising that many organizations do not feel any more confident in their ability to respond to cyber risks now than they were in 2019," said Sarah STEPHENS, Head of Cyber, International, Marsh.

Further, many organizations are still struggling to understand the risks posed by their vendors and digital supply chains as part of their cybersecurity strategies. Only 43% of respondents stated that they have conducted a risk assessment of their vendors or supply chains.

At the same time, only 41% of organizations look beyond cybersecurity and insurance to engage their legal, corporate planning, finance, operations or supply chain management functions in making cyber risk plans, while nearly four in ten respondents (38%) said their organization uses quantitative methods to measure their cyber risk exposure, which is a critical step in understanding how cyberattacks and other events can create volatility. This is an improvement from the 2019 survey, when three in ten respondents (30%) stated that their organization uses quantitative methods.

Tom REAGAN, Cyber Risk Practice Leader, US & Canada, Marsh, added: "Cyber risks are pervasive across most organizations. Successfully countering cyber threats needs to be an enterprise-wide goal, aimed at building cyber resilience across the firm, rather than singular investments in incident prevention or cyber defense. Greater cross-enterprise communication can help organizations bridge the gaps that currently exist, boost confidence, and better inform overall strategic decision making around cyber threats."

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