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Scared CIOs increase spending on cyber security

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Companies around the world have increased the amount they are spending on cyber security solutions amid growing fears that they will become the latest victim of a data breach, new research has shown.

A study by the RAND corporation included a survey of chief information officers (CIOs) who said rising concerns from high-profile incidents have made cyber security a priority in their organisation. Consequently, the researchers say, worldwide spending on cyber security is fast approaching $70 billion per year, which means this market is growing by between 10 and 15 per cent annually.

The report also highlighted that secrecy is a major issue within the cyber security space; not only are the hackers naturally very secretive about the techniques they are deploying for their cyber attacks, but organisations themselves are not willing to share information about data breaches or about the cyber security solutions and practices they have in place to protect themselves against such attacks.

Martin Libicki, co-lead author of the study and senior management scientist at the non-profit research organisation RAND, commented: “Despite the pessimism in the field, we found that companies are paying a lot more attention to cyber security than they were even five years ago.

“Companies that didn’t even have a chief information security officer (CISO) five years ago have one now, and CEOs are more likely to listen to them. Core software is improving and new cyber security products continue to appear, which is likely to make a hacker’s job more difficult and more expensive.”

For CISOs, 18 of whom were interviewed for the study, the greatest concern with regards to a cyber attack was the damage it would do to the reputation of their business, rather than the direct costs associated with the attack. Fear of reputational damage has been triggered by high profile attacks in recent years effecting the likes of Sony, Apple and eBay.

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