With cyberattacks on the rise, a new study shows how a disconnect between cyber and business executives is putting organizations in Mexico at risk.
The vast majority of organizations in Mexico (95%) suffered at least one business-impacting1 cyberattack over the past year and nearly three quarters (74%) expect cyberattacks to increase over the next 24 months.
The data is drawn from The Rise of the Business-Aligned Security Executive — a Spotlight on Mexican Organizations. The commissioned study derives data from a survey of 104 business and security executives in Mexico conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tenable.
The study points to an alarming disconnect between security and business leaders which is challenging organizations in Mexico to effectively manage their cyber risk. For example, while nearly all of the security leaders surveyed (97%) had been asked by their organization's top executives or board to present on cyber risk, just five out of 10 said they could answer the question "how secure, or at risk, are we?" with a high degree of confidence. And fewer than half of security leaders in Mexico are framing the impact of cyberthreats within the context of a specific business risk.
Even more concerning: as organizations scrambled to adopt new remote working practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals seized the opportunity. Three out of 10 Mexican business and security leaders report having experienced COVID-19-related malware or phishing attacks; an unlucky 4% were victims of both. In fact, 75% of security leaders are very or extremely concerned that COVID-19-related workforce changes will increase their organizations' level of risk.
Yet, even when confronting a global pandemic, the study shows business and cybersecurity leaders failed to connect: 79% of respondents said their COVID-19 response strategies are, at best, only "somewhat" aligned. This misalignment has significant effects on organizations in Mexico, with respondents experiencing one or more of the following as a result of a cyberattack in the past two years:
- Lost productivity (47%)
- Identity theft (29%)
- Loss of employee data (28%)
- Financial loss or theft (27%)
- Loss of customer data (25%)
Technological challenges contribute to the disconnect
Numerous organizational, operational and technological challenges contribute to the lack of business and cybersecurity alignment for organizations in Mexico. For example, over half of security leaders (53%) say their teams do not have good visibility into the state of security for their organization's most critical assets and only 51% report having a holistic understanding and assessment of the organization's entire attack surface.
Yet, there are actions security leaders can take today to help improve alignment with the business, including establishing a regular cadence of communication with business colleagues and working together to identify the organization's most business-critical assets. Once security leaders establish a clear understanding of which assets matter most to the business they're better equipped to assess risk and communicate using metrics that business executives can understand.
When business and security teams are aligned, the results are significant. For example, the study reveals:
- Business-aligned security leaders are eight times as likely as their more siloed peers to be highly confident in their ability to report on their organizations' level of security or risk.
- 85% of business-aligned security leaders have metrics to track cybersecurity ROI and impact on business performance versus just 25% of their more reactive and siloed peers.
- Business-aligned security leaders outpace their more reactive and siloed counterparts in automating key vulnerability assessment processes by margins of +49 to +66 percentage points.
With threats on the rise and workforce dynamics changing rapidly, it's clear that cybersecurity needs to evolve as a business strategy. Security leaders who understand their organization's current risk posture and are able to predict the greatest threats to the business are much better equipped to speak the language of business risk. These business-aligned security leaders are 8x as likely as their more siloed peers to be highly confident in their ability to answer the question, "How secure, or at risk, are we?"
- See additional study highlights in Spanish here
- Download the study in Spanish: The Rise of the Business-Aligned Security Executive - a Spotlight on Mexican Organizations
- Evaluate your own organization (tool is available in English language only): How Business Aligned Are You?
1"Business-impacting" relates to a cyberattack or compromise that results in a loss of customer, employee or other confidential data; interruption of day-to-day operations; ransomware payout; financial loss or theft; and/or theft of intellectual property.