Asia-Pacific execs lag US peers in cyber security, ROI awareness: BT

Asia-Pacific companies are far less concerned about information security than their US counterparts and significantly less able to measure their security return on investment (ROI), according to a new survey from BT.

The company's research – conducted by Vanson Bourne and involving 500 interviews across seven countries and four key vertical industry sectors – found that while 90 percent of US companies are able to measure the ROI of their cyber-security measures, just 51 percent of Asia-Pacific companies can do the same.

BT's figures corroborate other recent research, such as PwC's finding that Asia-Pacific business leaders are seen as being significantly less mature in their ICT security vision than their peers around the world.

The growing number of high-profile cyber-security vulnerabilities is seeing CSOs playing an increasing role in closing this gap, but the BT research found that Asia-Pacific companies are nonetheless far behind when it comes to IT security training.

Just 48 per cent of business leaders in this region are receiving IT security training, compared with 86 per cent in the US.

Despite the relatively low figures on IT-security training, the BT survey found that 74 per cent of IT decision makers see hacktivism as a "severe threat" – outpacing malicious insider threats (65 per cent), non-malicious insider threats (63 per cent), organised crime (58 per cent) and nation-states (46 per cent).

Figures for US decision-makers are higher across the board, with 85 per cent citing the dangers of non-malicious insider threats and 79 per cent concerned about malicious insider threats, 77 per cent about hacktivism, 75 per cent organised crime, 72 per cent terrorism, and 70 per cent nation-states.

“The research provides a fascinating insight into the changing threat landscape and the challenge this poses for organisations globally," Kevin Taylor, President, Asia, Middle East & Africa with BT Global Services, said in a statement.

"The massive expansion of employee-owned devices, cloud computing and extranets have multiplied the risk of abuse and attack, leaving organisations exposed to a myriad of internal and external threats – malicious and accidental."

"The risks to business are moving too fast for a purely reactive security approach to be successful. Nor should cyber security be seen as an issue for the IT department alone.”

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