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IT Leaders Rank Data Breaches as the Top Technology Risk for 2021

By Filip Truta on Jan 05, 2021 | 0 Comments
  • 80% of digital leaders plan to address ‘cyber breach’ risk in 2021 audit plans
  • IT leaders in North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania all ranked ‘cyber breaches’ as their top concern
  • Digitally mature organizations stand out in their frequency of performing technology audit risk assessments
  • 67% of organizations do not classify themselves as digital leaders
  • ‘Cyber breaches’ are consistently a primary concern across key industry sectors

Missteps in risk management pose a greater threat to organizations that have not yet mastered timely responses to business disruption, prompting IT leaders worldwide to rank data breaches as their top concern for 2021, new research shows.

Concerns around security, privacy, cloud and technology resilience are increasing due to shifting business priorities, the pandemic-induced remote work environment and accelerated deployment of new technologies, according to a survey from Protiviti and ISACA.

The survey asked respondents to rate the significance of 39 technology risk issues. The top 10 IT audit risks identified were:

  1. Cyber Breach
  2. Confidentiality and Privacy
  3. Regulatory Compliance
  4. User Access
  5. Security Incident Management
  6. Disaster Recovery
  7. Data Governance
  8. Third-Party Risk
  9. Remote Workplace Infrastructure
  10. Availability Risk

IT leaders in North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania all ranked ‘cyber breaches’ as their top concern, with almost 80% saying they plan to address the risk in their 2021 audit plans.

‘Digital leaders' – who characterize themselves as innovative and disruptive, with a track record of delivering on digital and innovation initiatives and adopting emerging technologies effectively – weigh risks differently from companies with less digital transformation maturity and those in earlier stages of defining and delivering on their digital and innovation agenda. They use more dynamic approaches to technology risk assessment to be more responsive to the rapidly evolving risk landscape, driven in part by pandemic-related challenges, according to the report.

Digitally mature organizations perform more frequent technology audit risk assessments, driven by more agile ways of working as well as more integration and use of data and technology. However, 67% of organizations do not classify themselves as digital leaders, and 11% of those non-leaders don’t conduct any form of technology risk assessment, according to the research.

‘Cyber breaches’ were also consistently a primary concern across industry sectors, including consumer packaged goods and retail; energy and utilities; financial services; healthcare; manufacturing and distribution; and technology, media and telecommunications.

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Author: Filip Truta

Filip is an experienced writer with over a decade of practice in the technology realm. He has covered a wide range of topics in such industries as gaming, software, hardware and cyber-security, and has worked in various B2B and B2C marketing roles. Filip currently serves as Information Security Analyst with Bitdefender.