HLB Cybersecurity report

HLB International is a global network of independent advisory and accounting firms and through the power of 40,831 professionals across 156 countries, we combine local expertise and global capabilities to service client’s needs.

We can all agree that today the world is witnessing an exponential rise in the sophistication and frequency of cyber-attacks. In the past year, approximately 50% of businesses have reported a surge in such incidents, reinforcing the urgency for organisations to bolster their cybersecurity measures. HLB’s annual cybersecurity report, “Uniting People and AI: The Future of Cyber Resilience,” sheds light on the critical need for advanced security strategies to combat relentless cyber adversaries leveraging artificial intelligence (AI). Based on a comprehensive survey of 750 senior IT professionals conducted in August 2023, this report unveils key insights into the current cyber-threat landscape and the proactive measures organisations are taking to fortify their cyber resilience.

The three pillars of cyber-resilience

To ensure long-term protection against evolving cyber threats, HLB’s report underscores the importance of focusing on the three pillars of cyber-resilience: rapid response, regular training, and comprehensive monitoring, or to summarise even further, Plan, Prepare, and Protect. These essential components collectively serve as a foundation for building robust cybersecurity strategies that can withstand the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats.

Plan: Improve response speeds to new cyber challenges

The introduction of remote and hybrid work arrangements has intensified the urgency of cybersecurity. While a substantial 57% of IT leaders admit they were initially unprepared for the challenges posed by remote work, an impressive 88% managed to adapt their cybersecurity strategies effectively in response to the pandemic. Initiatives such as providing secure access through virtual private networks (VPNs), deploying secure cloud data exchange tools, and implementing regular cyber training have played pivotal roles in this transformation.

Prepare: cybersecurity and awareness training

In the quest to cultivate a culture of high-security accountability, IT leaders must prioritise changing core human behaviours through regular education and proactive coaching. While 87% of companies have some form of cyber training in place, only 18% have ongoing awareness programs that encompass regular formal training, simulated phishing attacks, and consistent communication. This discrepancy highlights the need for organisations to invest in continuous employee education to stay ahead of emerging threats effectively.

Protect: comprehensive monitoring for the new landscape

AI is becoming increasingly integral to business operations, with 50% of business leaders identifying AI as the most important technology for their businesses in the next five years. However, AI, when in the wrong hands, poses new security risks. The rapid pace of technological innovation in AI, particularly generative AI, has raised concerns among 89% of business leaders, with 34% expressing significant concern. Although AI plays a pivotal role in cybersecurity, organisations should not place unquestionable trust in technology alone. Educating and managing human behaviour remains as crucial as ever.

Striving for optimal security outcomes

In the dynamic landscape of ever-evolving cyber threats, organisations must remain vigilant, adaptable, and proactive in their approach to safeguarding their digital assets. Moreover, organisations should consider the implications of AI in both the threat landscape and potential solutions. By recognising the need to educate and manage human behaviour in the context of evolving technology, they can strike a balance between technological innovations in cybersecurity and investments in people and processes.

The escalating cyber threat landscape means that organisations must stay ahead of the curve in cybersecurity. HLB’s annual cybersecurity report highlights the necessity of a multi-faceted approach to cyber resilience. By focusing on rapid response, regular training, and comprehensive monitoring, organisations can stand resilient against evolving cyber threats. The integration of AI into business operations presents both opportunities and risks, emphasising the importance of educating and managing human behaviour in conjunction with technological innovations. In this ever-changing cybersecurity environment, organisations can strive for optimal security outcomes by uniting people and AI to defend against relentless cyber adversaries.

Learn more about HLB’s global services and capabilities: www.hlb.global

About the author

Amy Spillard, Head of Technology Partnerships; Amy oversees the growth and development of HLB’s technology ecosystem.

Amy leads with a mission to maximise and optimise the network’s digital transformation by building successful partnerships with cutting-edge software providers who help firms deliver growth, efficiencies and excellence.



Read more articles here.