Business leaders who have been pushing their companies to be more proactive about cybersecurity may now have a powerful new ally. A survey conducted earlier this years shows that investors are paying growing attention to cybersecurity. They are asking for more information about security practices – and may avoid investing in firms with a record of cyber attacks.
As Matt Egan reports at Fox Business, the survey, carried out by Zogby Analytics and put out by HBGary, looked at the attitudes of 405 investors in the US. It found that investors have become aware of cybersecurity issues, though their perceptions are heavily influenced by news coverage and publicity considerations.
The survey found that more than 70 percent of the investors are interested in reviewing a firm's cybersecurity practices. And nearly 80 percent would hold back from investing in a firm that experienced numerous high-profile cyber attacks. Two-thirds of the investors are more interested in firms' responses to attacks than in the attacks themselves.
When it comes to weighing the severity of cybersecurity concerns, these investors think like consumers – nearly twice as many (57 percent) were more concerned about customer data being compromised than the were about intellectual property being stolen (29 percent).
These investor attitudes could reflect concerns about both news coverage and legal sanctions. Both are more severe regarding breaches of consumer data. Moreover, individual investors may see themselves as potential victims of compromised personal data.
Intellectual property (IP) does not have such a high public profile. But as Jim Butterworth, chief security officer at HBGary notes, "pilfering of American company trade secrets and other sensitive data is happening every day – costing our corporations billions of dollars in lost revenue."
Corporate managements feel cross-pressured between regulators pushing for more transparency and the fear that revealing breaches will generate negative PR. Greater investor security consciousness could cut both ways, depending on how sophisticated investors are about security issues.
The best way to handle security breaches is to prevent them. GRT Corporation can work with your company to establish a comprehensive, proactive cybersecurity policy.