Board Survey Reveals Continued Increases in Director Time and Company Resources Spent on Planning for Cybersecurity Risks
According to a new survey by BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting and consulting organizations, approximately three-quarters (74%) of public company directors report that their board is more involved with cybersecurity than it was 12 months ago, and an even greater percentage (80%) say they have increased company investments during the past year to defend against cyber-attacks, with an average budget expansion of 22 percent.
This is the third consecutive year that board members have reported increases in time and dollars spent on cybersecurity. The survey also identified improvements in the number of boards with cyber-breach response plans in place (from 45% to 63%). Nevertheless, barely one-quarter (27%) are sharing information on cyber-attacks with entities outside of their business – a practice that needs to become more prevalent for the safety of critical infrastructure and national security, particularly at larger organizations.
“Over the past three years, the BDO Board Survey has documented the ascension of cybersecurity up the boardroom agenda. Corporate directors are being briefed more often and are responding with increased budgets to address this critical area,” said Shahryar Shaghaghi, National Leader of Technology Services for BDO Consulting. “The survey also reveals significant vulnerabilities. Although measurable progress has been made from a year ago, less than half of board members report they have both identified and developed solutions to protect their critical digital assets, and an even smaller proportion indicate they have put cyber-risk requirements in place for third-party vendors – a major source of cyber-attacks. Moreover, sharing information gleaned from cyber-attacks is a key to defeating hackers, yet just one-quarter of directors say their company is sharing this information.”
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