Following significant and rapid changes to the way organisations do business in 2020, many have adopted a top-down approach to cyber security, engaging executives to lay the foundations for oversight and improvement of their risk management.
“Business owners and leaders are recognising that while reactive solutions such as taking out specialised cyber insurance policies are important, the bigger piece of their approach must lay in prevention,” says Nick Kervin, BDO National Leader, Digital & Technology Advisory.
“Organisations certainly stand to lose financially from cybercrime, but the greater losses often occur to their culture, operation and reputation – plugging holes and addressing the root cause is so important because you can’t rewind once data is exposed.”
According to results from the 2021 BDO SA State Business Survey, South Australian businesses have followed the global trend of moving to working from home arrangements and rapidly increasing their technology adoption over the course of the pandemic.
When asked how their business had transformed during the pandemic, 76 per cent reported establishing or increasing working from home arrangements and 58 per cent reported increased technology adoption. Almost three quarters believe that the changes to their business will be permanent.
Unfortunately, these transformations to our way of doing business have also led to increased exposure to cybercrime. The good news is that businesses are onto it.
While 47 per cent are either extremely or very concerned about the risk of a cyber breach in the next 12 months, a clear majority of 81 per cent also recognise that investment in technology and IT systems are either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important to their business.
These results are consistent with the findings of the 2020 annual BDO and AusCert Cyber Security Survey – while data breaches doubled, the new operating environment emerging from the pandemic had led to a shift in attitudes among organisational leaders.
Results showed that investment in IT and cyber controls have played a large role in many organisations’ response to the risk introduced by the rapid adoption of cloud and remote working solutions.
Recent updates to Australian standards, including ISO 27001:2013, and global regulatory standards and frameworks released in the past two years show how critical it is for boards, in particular, to take an active role in improving cyber resilience.
Smaller businesses can take a number of steps to ensure their cyber security systems and processes are up to scratch – this article details Kervin’s top five.
The BDO SA State Business Survey report will be released this week. Register here to receive your copy directly.
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