Trend Micro: 81% of Canadian IT Decision Makers Believe Organizations Compromise on Cybersecurity in Favour of Other Goals
November 15, 2021
Trend Micro study reveals urgent need for new way to discuss business risk

TORONTO, November 15, 2021 Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cybersecurity leader, today announced new research* revealing that 81% of Canadian IT decision makers claim their business would be willing to compromise on cybersecurity in favor of hybrid working, productivity, innovation or other goals. Additionally, 70% have felt pressured to downplay the severity of cyber risks to their board.

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“It is absolutely essential that IT leaders feel empowered to raise concerns over cybersecurity to their executive team, while reminding them of the importance to respond quickly and appropriately to this constantly evolving world of threats. Attacks on sensitive IT systems must be addressed with the utmost importance, as they provide the backbone of any sound organization,” said Antoine Saikaley, Canadian technical director for Trend Micro. “We must reframe the discussion around cybersecurity and reposition it as a fundamental driver of business growth, which connects members of the c-suite and their IT decision makers.”

The Canadian research reveals that just 44% of IT leaders and 45% of business decision makers believe the C-suite completely understand cyber risks. Most think this is because the topic is complex and constantly changing. When it comes to who’s ultimately responsible for managing and mitigating risk, 32% of respondents think it’s the CEO, with IT organizational teams coming in second, at 29%. When asked if more people should be held responsible for managing/mitigating business risk, 75% of respondents agreed.

The survey also found that 50% of respondents claim that cyber risks are still being treated as an IT problem rather than a business risk. This friction is causing potentially serious issues: almost half (48%) of respondents agree that their organization’s attitude to cyber risk is inconsistent and varies from month to month.

However, 36% of respondents believe cybersecurity is the biggest business risk today, and 64% claim it has the highest cost impact of any business risk – a seemingly conflicting opinion given the overall willingness to compromise on security.

There are three main ways respondents believe the C-suite will sit up and take notice of cyber risk:

  • 65% think it would take a high-profile breach being reported in the media
  • 61% say it would help if a competitor has a breach
  • 59% say it would make an impact if their organization is breached

“To make cybersecurity a board-level issue, the C-suite must come to view it as a true business enabler,” Saikaley added. “This will prompt IT and security leaders to articulate their challenges to the board in the language of business risk. And it will require prioritized, proactive investments from the boardroom – not just band-aid solutions following a breach.”

*Trend Micro commissioned Sapio Research to interview 207 IT and business decision makers from enterprises larger than 250 employees across Canada​.

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro's cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organizations to simplify and secure their connected world.

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