Staff big threat to information security – PwC report

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PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey has found that staff, service providers, suppliers or business partners, are rated among the biggest cyber risks for Kiwi companies.

Nearly 30 percent of respondents said that current staff were responsible for cyber attacks in New Zealand.

“The ‘unknown hacker’ was picked as the largest category responsible for cyber attacks and that’s because attribution is difficult and most companies end up not knowing where or who the attackers are. However, it became clear that people known to the company were also among the biggest threats,” says Adrian van Hest, PwC Partner and Cyber Practice Leader.

“We’ve seen that the amount being invested in cyber security is increasing, but the number and cost of incidents are also increasing. So while there’s continued spending, it doesn’t mean that the investments are effective or that they’re being spent on the right things.”

New business models present different cyber risks. The ongoing uptake of cloud computing and reliance on mobile devices brings new risks – not because the technologies are not safe, but because they require companies to take a different approach to the way they manage cyber security.

“We’ve also found that investment in identity management is growing faster overseas because they’re experiencing more cyber incidents through increased cloud usage. Kiwi companies are slightly behind the trend as most of our cyber incidents still seem to occur because of outdated software. However, as more businesses move to the cloud, it’s only a matter of time before we face the same risks,” says Adrian.

The report concludes that cyber security is no longer just an issue for IT departments – it’s an issue that cuts across our entire digital society. Companies that stay competitive in our digital landscape can’t blindly trust that their businesses and customer data will stay secure. Building and maintaining trust is going to be the greatest differentiator for New Zealand businesses in our digital society and now’s the time to start taking that seriously.

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