Only 27% of PH companies are ready for cyber attacks — Cisco

While there is a heightened awareness of cybersecurity, only 27% of companies in the Philippines are ready to defend their networks in the event of a cyber attack, according to the first Cisco Cybersecurity Readiness Index.

“While organizations in the Philippines are faring better than the global average (15% companies in the Mature stage), the number is still very low, given the risks,” Cisco said in a media release.

The cybersecurity index highlights the readiness of organizations when it comes to security and was developed against the backdrop of a post-COVID, hybrid world where data sometimes sit in “unsecured” environments.

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The index has five core pillars that form the baseline of required defenses: identity, devices, network, application workloads, and data, and encompasses 19 different solutions within the pillars.

Companies were then classified into four stages of increasing readiness: Beginner, Formative, Progressive and Mature. Of the 6,700 cybersecurity leaders surveyed, only 27% are in the Mature level meaning they are in the advanced stages of deployment and are the most ready to address security threats.

Hybrid work and data security

The survey shows that 43% of companies fall into the Beginner or Formative (37%) stages. 

“Organizations must stop approaching defense with a mix of point tools and instead, consider integrated platforms to achieve security resilience while reducing complexity,” said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration at Cisco. 

Hybrid work, while convenient, poses security risks as devices are connected to different, and often unsecured, networks. The risk of exposing data through a data breach can be a cause for concern. This is where companies are expected to be resilient with a stronger security posture than before COVID-19.

It still doesn’t add up, though, that even if 85% of the respondents expect business disruption in the next 12-24 months because of a cybersecurity, the readiness is still low. 

Cost of data breach

Cisco pointed out that he cost of being unprepared can be substantial as 77% of respondents said they had a cybersecurity incident in the last 12 months, and 38% of those affected said it cost them at least US $500,000. 

“As people operate from multiple devices in multiple locations, connecting to multiple networks in a dynamic hybrid world today, it is crucial for organizations in the Philippines to adopt an integrated platform approach in securing the five core pillars of security to fortify their resilience,” said Zaza Nicart, Managing Director, Cisco Philippines.