Most firms unprepared to counter cyber risks to revenue and reputation

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Even as many executives continue to confront cyber security threats, financial crime and regulatory issues in 2020, organizations remain largely unprepared for events that can impact revenue, valuation and reputation, according to a new report from FTI Consulting.

The business advisory firm surveyed 2,276 senior executives worldwide in November 2019, and found that cyber security remains a top concern for most organizations. Despite cyber attacks being identified as having the most negative impact on revenue, less than half of the executives surveyed are managing attacks proactively and only 10 percent think they have no cyber security gaps at all.

Organizations said their largest gaps were in employee awareness, security culture and training, followed by threat monitoring and detection, and IT patching and technology stress testing.

The survey found that 64 percent of companies experienced a form of financial crime over the past year, with theft and fraud representing 24 percent of financial crimes identified over the past 12 months. As a result, executives expect to increase their compliance spending by 22 percent in 2020, with 49 percent of respondents saying cyber security is the highest priority for investment.

A majority of respondents (81 percent) said they expect increased regulation in 2020. But 72 percent said they still needed to improve regulatory safeguards.

Technology transformation will help companies enhance resilience, according to the survey. More than half (59 percent) of executives surveyed said artificial intelligence and machine learning will have the most significant impact on their industries in the next decade, with 81 percent predicting the effect will be positive.

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