Forty percent of professionals report that managing increasing amounts of data and connected device (Internet of Things) security pose the greatest cybersecurity challenges to their organization over the next 12 months, according to a recent Deloitte poll.

Respondents also identified third parties/extended enterprise (16.3%) and managing digital identities (13.5%) as the next biggest challenges.

Yet, only 14% report their organization's cybersecurity program as mature, with cyber risk managed holistically across the enterprise.

"The hyperconnected and increasingly intelligent nature of today’s world requires organizations to continually rethink their approach toward cybersecurity," says Irfan Saif, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory Cyber Risk Services principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

"Cyber risk is more ubiquitous than ever before and has to be embedded into the very crux of business operations in order to manage the challenges that organizations are facing now—and to prepare for new challenges that will undoubtedly arise in the future."

Respondents' Confidence Shaky

When asked how confident they are in their organization’s ability to manage cyber risk and information security, fewer than 1 in 5 (19.4%) said they are "very confident."

And when it comes to mitigating attacks on digital identities, the poll reveals nearly 30% of respondents report the rise of cloud computing and mobile internet access as the greatest challenge.

"With digital identities at the core of how systems are accessed and used, recognizing where and how to leverage automation and robotics is important to achieving better scale and speed of execution while simultaneously protecting the organization's valuable assets," added Emily Mossburg, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory Cyber Risk Services principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

"Organizations are also shifting the way they maintain and manage data by storing more of it in the cloud, which adds complexity and an additional layer of risk.

"Addressing cyber risk as a core principle from the onset can help to better mitigate these risks and both accelerate and enhance the potential outcomes of digital transformation initiatives."

Key Strategies

When considering how to strategically leverage cyber risk as a business advantage, companies should take into account the following:

  • Rethink the approach. Consider the end-to-end process and evaluate cyber risk at the earliest stages of innovation to drive business transformation.
  • Use automation, robotics, and analytics to manage velocity and scale in domains such as IoT and mobile.
  • Use digital identity to manage human and machine credentials. Focus on user experience and usability to drive adoption and simplify design, mitigating cyber risk at the outset.

    About the poll: On Jan. 24, 2018, a Deloitte Dbriefs webcast, "Cyber risk: Maturity and ubiquity in the fourth industrial era," polled more than 2,471 professionals about cyber risk management in their organizations. Poll respondents were from a range of sectors, including banking and securities (18.7%); technology (12.1%); and travel, hospitality and services (9.3%). Response rates differed by question.