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July 20, 2022

Mazars assesses global cybersecurity risks

– Mazars Global Cybersecurity Study shows that more than half of C-suite leaders (54%) believe cyberattacks have increased over the last year

– More than a third (36%) say a breach is likely to impact their own business by 2022

– However, trust is high: 68% of leaders believe their company data is completely protected

 

Lisbon, July 20, 2022: Mazars, an international audit, tax and consultancy company, has released its report “Cybersecurity: Is your network robust enough?”. According to a survey of over 1.000 C-suite executives around the world, cybersecurity has become a top concern for business leaders. Effective “cyber defense” has become a balancing act for many companies; having a strong safety net that cushions any eventual fall is mandatory.

Robert Kastenschmidt, Partner and Head of Consulting at Mazars, says: “Cyber ​​threats are everywhere. This is not paranoia, it is a reality, albeit an unhappy one: every day new hacks, new data leaks, new constraints – and new costs, both financial and commercial. Nobody is spared. Collectively, we are improving in terms of preventing and detecting cyber attacks and limiting their damage, but no system is foolproof. Technological advances that can protect us also provide criminals with more advanced tools, including artificial intelligence, that can keep them well ahead of target organizations.”

Gain awareness of rising cyber risk

Mazars research shows that business leaders feel that cyber threats are on the rise, with more than one in three preparing for a significant attack on their organization during the next 12 months.

The perceived change is most noticeable in the US and Europe, with more than 60% of managers anticipating growing dangers. Large companies with annual revenues in excess of $XNUMX billion seem to be the most concerned, but criminals do not discriminate, scanning everyone for vulnerabilities, regardless of size.

Jan Matto, Partner at Mazars comments: “It is not because a company is small that it is less at risk from cyber attacks. In some ways, small businesses are more at risk as they generally have fewer people with cybersecurity capabilities and may lack internal controls to identify and detect threats. In the cybersecurity world, it is not impossible to protect yourself if you are a small business, but it does require a path of preparation.”

How to measure cybersecurity readiness

Despite concerns about cyber risk, most companies express confidence in their ability to protect themselves in the event of an attack. More than two-thirds of business leaders (68%) say they feel their organization's data is "completely secure." Trust is highest in the US, where 80% of respondents feel completely protected.

For C-suite executives globally, cyber risk is largely a fear of financial risk. More than half (56%) of business leaders surveyed place financial losses at the top of the list of the biggest risks to their organization when it comes to cybersecurity and data protection.

Trust or complacency?

Many companies, especially those operating in the most exposed sectors such as banking and retail, have built up a deep understanding of the risks and the response and recovery strategies needed in the organization to effectively deal with cyber threats. But there is sometimes a gap between the reality of IT and the confidence of managers about the degree of their protection.

Commenting on cyber risk in the retail sector, Mazars Partner Isabelle Massa says: “When dealing with private customer data, including credit card numbers, we need to have a lot of trust. And retailers are taking cybersecurity seriously – they've been doing it for years. That's why they look confident. My conclusion is that we never know for sure, so we better be prepared. This is an industry that is constantly at risk.”

we don't talk about se, but from when: five pillars of defense

A robust defense against cyber attacks depends on the ability to identify, prevent and detect them. Post-attack response and recovery need to be carefully planned and extensively tested. In this report, five pillars of intelligent defense against cyber threats are explored: identification, prevention, detection, answer e recuperação.

Strengthening the cybersecurity network

Cyber ​​threats are here to stay and the trend is for them to continue to get worse. This is the reality of the perception that can be collected from the C-suite, as reflected in the annual barometer now published. Business leaders have no choice but to live with this reality and deal with it as best they can. Many are confident they can withstand significant attacks, but why defy fate? Mazars' six key lessons for surviving and thriving in a cyber world are designed to spur action, with relevance not just to business leaders and IT teams, but to all employees.

For Ivo Morais, Audit & Assurance Senior Manager at Mazars in Portugal, “it is essential to be aware that the attack surface has increased significantly and will continue to increase with the dynamics created by the process of digital transformation and change in work models. This effect puts even greater pressure on the process of assessing risks underlying information systems, with real consequences for companies' activities, not only in terms of non-compliance with legal and regulatory matters, such as breaches of the privacy policy, but also in terms of regarding the guarantee of business continuity, although we are very sure about the policy of cyber security and governance model implemented by companies. The risks arising from cyber attacks, as well as their complexity, are increasing, so it remains for us to do what we can by ensuring regular risk assessments, carrying out tests of the effectiveness of implemented policies, adequate monitoring of information that are critical and ensure the existence of a Disaster Recovery plan that responds adequately and quickly to current challenges.”

 

 

About the study

The Mazars C-suite barometer was designed and conducted by GQR Research in collaboration with Mazars. Data was collected through an online survey conducted between September 24, 2021 and October 25, 2021. The total sample is N=1.130, with 1.096 coming from online panels and 34 invited via email directly by Mazars.

About Mazars  

Mazars is a partnership international integrated, specializing in auditing, accounting, consultancy, taxation and legal services*. Operating in more than 90 countries and territories around the world, we draw on the expertise of more than 44.000 professionals – 28.000+ in the partnership and 16.000+ via the Mazars North America Alliance – to support customers of all sizes at every stage of their development.

*when permitted by local law.

Additional information at https://www.mazars.pt/.

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