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Cybersecurity Alarms Ring as PwC Survey Unearths Soaring Costs of Data Breaches

Businesses experiencing data breaches surpassing more than $1 million have surged to 36% from 27% last year, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey.
The 2024 Global Digital Trust Insights survey, featuring insights from 3,800 global business and technology leaders across 71 countries, provides crucial insights into the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity.

Healthcare Sector on Alert

Data breaches in the healthcare sector incur costs 25% higher than the global average, with an average expense of $5.3 million. Nearly half (47%) of healthcare organizations disclosed data breaches exceeding the $1 million mark.

Generative AI's Complex Impact

Generative AI, commonly referred to as GenAI, has become a focal point in conversations among business and technology leaders. Notably, 52% of respondents expressed apprehensions that GenAI could lead to catastrophic cyberattacks within the following year. However, 77% underscored the importance of deploying GenAI ethically and responsibly.

Business Growth Amidst Cyber Challenges

Most respondents (64%) reported increased sales revenue over the past year. The survey found that 82% anticipate further revenue growth in the year ahead. In response to the growing risks, 79% of organizations are preparing for an upswing in their cybersecurity budgets, up from 65% in the previous year.

'Guardians of Digital Trust' Emerge

The survey has identified a select group of organizations as the 'Guardians of Digital Trust.' Comprising just 5% of respondents, these companies consistently implement advanced cybersecurity measures, resulting in a lower incidence of costly cyber breaches. They also display a more optimistic outlook regarding the potential of Generative AI to enhance cybersecurity.

Investment in Cybersecurity Lags

While digital and tech-related risks remain top priorities for business and technology leaders, over one-third of companies are yet to initiate risk management efforts. Astonishingly, only one in four has made significant strides in bolstering cyber resilience. A mere 2% of organizations are optimizing and continuously improving cyber resilience across all aspects.

Urgent Need for Cyber Talent

Recognizing the imperative to upskill and reskill their workforce, organizations are prioritizing talent development strategies. For companies that have fallen victim to cyber breaches exceeding $1 million, competition for cybersecurity talent in the job market ranks as a top concern, with 52% citing it among their top three priorities.

“Organisations should adopt a Responsible AI toolkit to guide the trusted and ethical use of AI,” said Sean Joyce, Global Cybersecurity and Privacy Leader at PwC US. “Along with security and privacy risks, they must now account for additional areas involving data risks, model and bias risks, prompt or input risks, and user risks when they begin working with GenAI,” Joyce added.


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