Cyber Pros Say a Catastrophic Data Breach to their Org Inevitable

New Raytheon survey findings come after unanimous intelligence community warning about growing cyber threat (Image courtesy of Raytheon)

A new global cybersecurity study commissioned by Raytheon, in partnership with the Ponemon Institute, reveals a majority of senior-level IT professionals fully expect their organization will experience a catastrophic data breach that could greatly impact shareholder value.

The 2018 Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity survey of 1,100 senior-level IT and IT security global practitioners also shows that despite growing threats, IT professionals believe cybersecurity is still not considered a strategic priority among senior leadership.

Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy
Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy

“Our hope is that CISOs and senior leaders can use this report as a tool to start a deep dialogue about the critical need for cybersecurity within their organizations,” said Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy.

“Every day the cyber threat is growing more sophisticated and aggressive, posing a real threat to global businesses across all sectors.”

“To reduce risks, leaders must urgently work with their IT teams to identify potential vulnerabilities, develop an action plan and make the investments needed to protect the value of their organization.”

The study looks at how cyber trends have evolved since Raytheon first sponsored the research in 2015.

It also asks security professionals in the U.S., EuropeMiddle East and North Africa to identify future trends over the next three years.

Courtesy of Raytheon

Key findings include:

  • The Internet of Things is an open door

    • 82% of respondents predict unsecured IoT devices will likely cause a data breach in their organization.
    • 80% say such a breach could be catastrophic.

  • More ransomware on the way

    • 67% believe cyber extortion, such as ransomware, will increase in frequency and payout.
  • Cyber warfare growing likelier

    • 60% predicted attacks by nation-state actors against government and commercial companies will worsen and could lead to a cyber war.
    • 51% of respondents say cyber warfare will be a high risk in the next three years, compared to 22% who feel that way today.
    • Similarly, 71% say the risk of breaches involving high-value information will be very high, compared to 43% who believe that risk is high today.
  • Confidence is slipping

    • Less than half of IT security practitioners surveyed believe they can protect their organizations from cyber threats.
    • That’s down from 59% three years ago.
Courtesy of Raytheon
  • For execs, cybersecurity is taking a back seat

    • Only 36% of respondents say their senior leadership sees cybersecurity as a strategic priority, meaning less investment in technology and personnel.
  • Corporate boards aren’t engaged

    • 68% of respondents say their boards of directors are not being briefed on what their organizations are doing to prevent or mitigate the consequences of a cyber attack.
  • IT professionals are feeling pessimistic about progress

    • 54% believe their organization’s cybersecurity posture will either stay the same or decline.
    • 58% believe staffing problems will worsen, and 46% predict artificial intelligence will not reduce the need for experts in cybersecurity.
Courtesy of Raytheon
Courtesy of Raytheon
  • CISOs’ stress levels will rise

    • When asked to rate their level of stress today and three years from now on a scale from 1 = low stress to 10 = high stress, respondents’ stress rating is expected to rise to a new high of 8.08.
  • Direct effect on shareholder value

    • 66% believe data breaches or cybersecurity exploits will seriously diminish their organization’s shareholder value.
    • Despite growing concerns about sophisticated and persistent cyber threats, only 36% of respondents believe senior leadership consider cybersecurity a strategic priority.
    • Senior leadership are also seen as seemingly disengaged in the oversight of their organization’s cybersecurity strategy with 68% of CISO/IT Executives surveyed saying their Boards are not being briefed on measures taken to prevent or mitigate the consequences of a cyberattack.
Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute
Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute

“Conversations around cybersecurity resiliency are happening among our nation’s top intelligence chiefs, yet business leaders still have not made cybersecurity a business priority,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute.

“This important research reveals an urgent need for executives to appropriately address cyber threats against their organizations.”

For more detail and analysis of the full survey findings, please visit

2018 Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity Survey Methodology

  • The 2018 Raytheon Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity Survey was fielded by Ponemon Institute from October 19 – November 6, 2017.
  • The responses were generated from a survey of 1,100 senior-level IT and IT security practitioners in the United StatesUnited KingdomEurope and MENA.
  • The margin of error for the survey was +/- 4.2% points at a 95% confidence level.

(When everything is connected, security is everything. That’s why Raytheon delivers solutions that protect every side of cyber for government agencies, businesses and nations. Protecting the most critical information, systems and operations with breakthrough solutions — to make the world a safer place. Courtesy of Raytheon and YouTube)

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