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Jul 20, 2022

Mazars assesses global cybersecurity risks

- Mazars' global cybersecurity study shows that more than half of C-suite leaders (54%) believe that cyberattacks have increased over the last year

- More than a third (36%) say a breach impacting their own company is likely as early as 2022

- However, confidence is high: 68% of leaders believe that their company's data is completely protected


Lisbon, July 20, 2022: Mazars, the international audit, tax and consulting firm, has launched its report "Cybersecurity: is your network robust enough?". According to a survey of more than 1,000 C-suite executives around the world, cybersecurity has become a major concern for business leaders. An effective "cyber defense" has become a balancing act for many companies; having a strong security network that cushions any potential fallout is a must.

Robert Kastenschmidt, Partner and Head of Consulting at Mazars, says: "Cyber threats are everywhere. This isn't paranoia, it's a reality, albeit an unfortunate one: new ones appear every day. hacksnew data leaks, new constraints - and new costs, both financial and commercial. No one is spared. Collectively, we are improving in terms of preventing and detecting cyberattacks and limiting their damage, but no system is infallible. The 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."

Raising awareness of the increase in 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 over 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 of over a billion dollars seem to be the most concerned, but criminals don't discriminate, probing everyone for vulnerabilities, regardless of size.

Jan Matto, Partner at Mazars comments: "It's not because a company is small that it is less at risk of cyber attacks. In a way, small companies are more at risk because they generally have fewer people with cybersecurity resources and may not have internal controls to identify and detect threats. In the world of cybersecurity, it's not impossible to protect yourself if you're a small business, but it does require a path of preparation."

How to measure cybersecurity readiness

Despite concerns about cyber risk, the majority of 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 protected". Confidence is highest in the US, where 80% of respondents feel completely protected.

For C-suite executives at a global level, cyber risk largely translates into fear of financial risk. More than half (56%) of the business leaders surveyed put financial losses at the top of the list of the biggest risks to their organization in relation 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 within the organization to deal effectively with cyber threats. But there is sometimes a gap between the reality of IT and managers' confidence in the degree of their protection.

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

We're not talking about ifbut of whenfive pillars of defense

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

Strengthening the cybersecurity network

Cyber threats are here to stay and the trend is for them to get worse. That's the reality of the C-suite's perception, 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 that they can withstand significant attacks, but why defy fate? Mazars' six key lessons for surviving and thriving in a cyber world are designed to stimulate action, with relevance not just for business leaders and IT teams, but for 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 digital transformation process and changes in working models. This effect puts even greater pressure on the process of assessing the 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 privacy policy, but also in terms of guaranteeing business continuity, even if we are very sure about the privacy policy. cyber security and governance model implemented by companies. The risks posed by cyber-attacks, as well as their complexity, are increasing, so all that remains is for us to do what we can by ensuring regular risk assessments, testing the effectiveness of the policies implemented, properly monitoring critical information and guaranteeing the existence of a Disaster Recovery plan that responds adequately and swiftly to the current challenges."



About the study

The Mazars C-suite barometer was designed and conducted by GQR Research, in collaboration with Mazars. The 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 by email directly by Mazars.

About Mazars  

Mazars is a partnership an integrated international firm specializing in auditing, accounting, consulting, tax 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 UK. partnership and 16,000+ via the Mazars North America Alliance - to support clients of all sizes at every stage of their development.

*when permitted by local legislation.

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



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