News Flash: Business Leaders Flag Internet Security Fears

Three-quarters of C-Suite execs say consumer data is too easily compromised online

Consumers can’t trust the safety of their online identities, as too much of their personal data is already available without restrictions, according to 76% of the 1,700 business leaders surveyed by Accenture Research. Some 79% of the respondents agreed that the advancement of the digital economy will be severely hindered unless there is dramatic improvement in internet security. Accenture surveyed 1,711 C-level executives from companies with annual revenues of US$1 billion or more in October and November 2018 from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.

“The internet wasn’t built with today’s level of complexity and connectivity in mind, which is why it takes just one click — whether inside or outside the company walls — to fall prey to a devastating cyberattack,” said Kelly Bissell, senior managing director of Accenture Security. “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.”

Accenture estimates that companies globally could incur US$5.2 trillion in additional costs and lost revenue over the next five years due to cyberattacks, “as dependency on complex internet-enabled business models outpaces the ability to introduce adequate safeguards that protect critical assets.” Accenture believes the high-tech industry faces the highest risk, with more than US$753 billion at stake, followed by the life sciences and automotive industries, with US$642 billion and US$505 billion at risk, respectively.

For more information, please see the Accenture report outlining the findings of the research.