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Bitglass Report: “Leading companies failing to demonstrate commitment to cyber security”

by Brian Sims

Bitglass has published its latest report entitled ‘The Cloudfathers: An Analysis of Cyber Security in the Fortune 500’. To discover whether or not the world’s leading companies are committed to enhancing their cyber security initiatives, the company researched the members of the 2019 Fortune 500 and analysed public-facing information such as what’s available on their websites.

The Cloudfathers report found that 77% of the Fortune 500 make no indication on their websites about who’s responsible for their security strategy. Additionally, 52% don’t have any language on their websites about how they protect the data of customers and partners (beyond a legally required privacy notice).

The results demonstrate that most organisations lack an authentic and lasting commitment to cyber security, with certain industries being less security-conscious than others. As breaches continue to cost brands millions, incite executive turnover, decrease stock prices and harm countless stakeholders, it’s crucial that organisations appoint relevant leadership and prioritise proper cyber security.

Other key findings of the research are as follows:

*38% of the 2019 Fortune 500 don’t have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

*Of this 38%, only 16% have another executive that’s listed as being responsible for cyber security strategy

*Of the 62% that do have a CISO, only 4% have them listed on their company leadership pages

The transportation industry is the most security-conscious of the traditional verticals, with 57% of its companies listing an executive as being responsible for cyber security strategy. The aerospace industry (33%) and the insurance industry (30%) come in second and third respectively.

No less than 89% of organisations in the aerospace industry have information available on their websites about how they’re protecting the data of customers and partners. Aerospace is followed by finance (72%) and technology (66%).

No hospitality companies list an executive who’s responsible for cyber security strategy. The manufacturing and telecommunications industries follow closely behind at 8% and 9% respectively.

Within each of the construction, oil and gas and hospitality industries, only 25% of organisations have information on their websites about how they protect customer and partner data.

“Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives have made it on to the websites of the Fortune 500, but research has shown that the same level of importance isn’t being given to publicly demonstrating a commitment to cyber security initiatives,” said Anurag Kahol, CTO at Bitglass. “Lax security and its resulting breaches have long-term repercussions for organisations as well as their customers, shareholders, partners and other stakeholders. Members of the Fortune 500 should be focused just as much on protecting personal data and consumer privacy as they are on other areas of social responsibility.”

*To learn more about the current state of cyber security commitment among the 2019 Fortune 500, download the full report here: https://pages.bitglass.com/CD-FY19Q3AnAnalysisofCybersecurityintheFortune500_LP.html

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