A new report
from The Economist
’s Intelligence Unit that focuses on corporate “cyber incidents” offers some information that isn’t too surprising: They’re increasing in frequency (three-fourths of organizations have suffered at least one in the past two years), they’re hard to understand, and organizations aren’t as prepared as they should be.
But one data point is downright odd: 67 percent of business leaders queried in a survey said they see a cyber attack as an opportunity to boost their brand’s reputation. The Economist
asked 360 leaders whether “responding to an incident effectively is an opportunity to enhance the reputation of my company,” and 26 percent strongly agreed. Another 41 percent checked the “somewhat agree” box.
That’s surprising, considering that the most prevalent recent instance of a data breach, at Target, has led to a massive damage control campaign and the departure of an executive
The survey results show that most organizations aren’t ready to tout their data shields just yet. Only 17 percent of the leaders surveyed said they feel “fully prepared” for a cyber attack, while 73 percent said they’re “somewhat prepared.”
At the moment, most organizations are trying to keep data breaches as quiet as possible. The report says that 57 percent of organizations don’t voluntarily report cyber incidents, and only one firm in three actively shares information about security threats.
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Perhaps that’s out of embarrassment. The most common type of cyber incident in the past year, according to the survey, wasn’t any sort of attack at all. Instead, it was an accidental disruption to a system.
So although many business leaders envision themselves as knights on white stallions saving their customers from the evil scourge of hackers, those days of heroism don’t appear to be here yet.