Majority of CEOs lose sleep over cybersecurity worries

Businessman insomnia

Over 76 percent of CEOs are consistently losing sleep over the fear of becoming the next headline-grabbing security breach, yet less than half of them have a firm cybersecurity strategy in place.

A new study from cybersecurity company Forcepoint in partnership with WSJ Intelligence surveyed 200 senior executives from a range of industries to find the major cybersecurity stresses and areas of disconnect for business and security leaders.

The fear of falling victim to a breach comes despite a high percentage (87 percent) believing that their security team is consistently ahead of cybersecurity threats. This disparity is compounded by a belief that senior leadership is cyber-aware and data-literate (89 percent), and focused on cybersecurity as a top organizational priority (93 percent).

Cybersecurity strategies are seen by 85 percent of executives as a major driver for digital transformation, though 66 percent recognize the increased organizational exposure to cyber threats because of digitization. Worryingly just 46 percent of leaders regularly review their cybersecurity strategies.

"When more than 89 percent of leaders believe their teams are more cyber-aware than ever, it’s not surprising to hear executives are losing sleep over their cybersecurity posture today because they know the stakes to their business are so high," says Nicolas Fischbach, global CTO of Forcepoint. "At a time when cybersecurity is more strategic to business growth than ever before, it is time senior business and security leaders reassess their cybersecurity strategy to one that enables them to move left of breach. Leader companies understand that behavior-based technologies are the modern cybersecurity path forward and those that get cybersecurity right today will see this be a key competitive differentiator for their business in the years ahead."

The report also shows a clear divide between CEOs and CISOs in how they identify the right cybersecurity path for their business. CEOs prefer to be proactive and risk-focused (58 percent), prioritizing maintenance of business stability above all. While more than half of CISOs (54 percent) embrace a more reactive, incident-driven approach to mitigating today’s dynamic cybersecurity threat landscape.

There's more detail in the full report which is available from the Forcepoint site and there's an infographic summary below.

Forcepoint WSJ infographic

Image credit: monkeybusiness/

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