According to new research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Palo Alto Networks, more than one in two CEOs (53%) estimate that during the past twelve months their potential financial losses in the event of a significant cyberattack have increased.
The study, which surveyed 500 CEOs in the UAE, found that while 86% of the respondents claim to have a good understanding of cybersecurity, 41% said they have not done a full assessment of their potential financial loss in the event of a successful cyberattack.
Ercan Aydin, Vice President, Emerging Markets at Palo Alto Networks, said: “With digital transformation bringing a sea-change in the way companies operate, it is vital that CEOs and CIOs work more closely than ever to evaluate risks and take steps to ensure that they have the very best cybersecurity platforms to help them stay ahead of threats and minimise risk.”
The CEO research also found that 56% of respondents agree cybersecurity is a bigger risk than economic uncertainty, and 60% agree cybersecurity is a bigger risk than their competitors. 54% of UAE organisations review cybersecurity policies, procedures, and technology either every 2-3 weeks or monthly to ensure legal and regulatory compliance.
“It is important to set the right cybersecurity strategy and continually evaluate your cybersecurity priorities based on a rapidly evolving threat landscape. As attacks increase and become more sophisticated, it will become incredibly challenging for security teams to stay ahead, which is why cybersecurity technology powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning is now vital for organisations who want to increase their cyber resilience, while lowering complexity and costs.” Aydin added.
In addition, around a third (31%) of UAE CEOs say a complicated vendor and product landscape is the top barrier in securing their organisation against an attack, followed by the speed with which the technology changes and evolves and the speed of which the threat landscape is evolving (both 29%), and hybrid working practices (27%).
Only 29% of UAE companies offer cybersecurity training and education to CEOs and the rest of their C-suite to develop a better understanding, while 50% offer optional training, and 21% offer no training at all.
The survey also shows that 38% of UAE CEOs have recurring conversations with their CIO about prioritising the reduction in the number of possible security solutions used to lower complexity.
The research was commissioned by Palo Alto Networks and conducted by Censuswide. 500 CEOs from companies with 500+ employees were surveyed in the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and the UAE (18+). The research was conducted during February 2023. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.