Global firms could lose over $5tr to cybercrime over the next five years, a new Accenture study has warned.
The consulting giant interviewed over 1700 CEOs and other C-suite executives to compile its report, Securing the Digital Economy: Reinventing the Internet for Trust.
It claimed that as businesses become more dependent on complex web-based models, their ability to innovate and grow securely cannot keep up.
In fact, over three-quarters (79%) claimed that the growth of the digital economy will be held back unless internet security is dramatically improved, while 59% said they don’t know how to react to growing instability.
Most at risk over the next five years are hi-tech companies, which could face losses of $753bn, followed by those in life sciences ($642bn) and automotive ($505bn).
Nearly four-fifths (79%) claimed their organization is adopting new technologies faster than they can secure them, while 80% said third-party threats are increasingly difficult to mitigate.
Only 30% of those polled said they were very confident in their own cybersecurity.
“Strengthening internet security requires decisive — and, at times, unconventional — leadership by CEOs, not just CISOs,” argued Accenture CMT lead, Omar Abbosh. “To become a cyber-resilient enterprise, companies need to start by bringing CISOs’ expertise to the board, ensuring security is built-in from the initial design stage and that all business managers are held responsible for security and data privacy.”
Over half of respondents (56%) said they’d welcome stricter business regulations in the cybersecurity sphere, while three-quarters (75%) claimed that addressing security concerns will require a group effort.
That’s why Accenture is recommending business leaders focus on improved collaboration with their peers, government officials and regulators, as well as improving baseline security across the supply chain.
“No organization can tackle the challenges posed by cyber-threats on its own; it’s a global challenge that needs a global response, and collaboration is key,” explained Accenture Security senior managing director, Kelly Bissell.
“To shape a future that thrives on a strong and trustworthy digital economy, senior executives need to look beyond the bounds of their organization, team with an ecosystem of partners, and secure their entire value chains — across every partner, supplier and customer.”