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It appears that cybersecurity could soon be on the minds of nearly every single business executive out there. According to a recently released survey, 86 percent of executives are now expressing concerns about cyber threats and lack of data security — up from 69 percent in 2014. In the study of 1,409 CEOs polled, energy costs, tax burdens and speed of technological change also were listed among the top 10 threats to their organization’s growth in 2016.
The study by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed “there’s a general rise in concerns across a number of areas for CEOs in 2016, largely a result of a low-growth global economy, policy uncertainties and a perception of greater volatility.
While those threats are being addressed, the executives also noted that they were focusing on technology and other innovations to help them focus on better identifying customers’ needs, as well as connecting with them. Unlocking data possibilities was listed among the top 10 opportunities, with CEOs noting that they get the highest return on customer engagement when using analytics. They want to get better at using data to deliver the right information to customers and prospects at the right time.
The Kroger Co. CEO said in an interview with PricewaterhouseCoopers that companies need to use technology to provide great in-store experiences as well as online experiences. “The key to technology is being nimble and ready for those transitions,” W. Rodney McMullen said.
Addressing cyber threat concerns
According to BI Intelligence, cybersecurity and cyber insurance will get increased attention in the coming years as threats grows and as IoT (Internet of Things) devices take off. It estimated that $655 billion will be spent on cybersecurity initiatives to secure PCs, mobile devices and IoT units.
Here are some highlights from BI Intelligence reports on cyber threat concerns:
- Traditional IT security practices, including network monitoring, will increase in importance with the rising use of IoT devices in businesses.
- Demand for cyber insurance plans will increase to cover the costs of cyberattacks, including providing customers identity theft protection and revenue losses from downtime.
- Annual cyber insurance premiums are projected to grow from $4 billion in 2016 to $8 billion in 2020.