‘Firms must manage digital risks efficiently’

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    Close to half of Philippine businesses rely on software in managing digital risks, way above global and Asean averages, findings of the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) showed.

    IBR said relying too heavily on technology to fight cyber threats is the number one weakness in managing digital risks and that companies must act by improving their employees’ awareness and specialist skills in cybersecurity.

    Forty-two percent of Filipino mid-sized businesses surveyed for the IBR reveal that they heavily depend on their software in managing digital risks, such as cybersecurity and data privacy.

    The rate is much higher than the Asean, 28 percent and the global averages, 32 percent.

    But IBR said companies will be able to taper technology spending if they strengthen and invest in their business acumen, processes, and in-house skills.

    Gartner Forecast for Information Security Worldwide said end-user spending for the information security market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.5 percent between 2017 and 2022, reaching $170 billion.

    “It is essential that businesses understand that investing in technology alone is not the only answer to reducing digital risk, and it will not protect them from losing customer trust should the worst happen,” said Ma. Victoria Españo, chairperson and chief executive officer of P&A Grant Thornton. “A key starting point for companies is understanding the type of business they are in, and the value they deliver to the customer,” she added.

    On a positive note, 63 percent of Filipino mid-sized businesses interviewed say their organization has a process to review all digital risks, including cyber, data privacy, and disruption to operations.

    The response reflects the overall approach to digital risks in both Asean (at 66 percent) and global (at 67 percent).

    Companies might be investing in sophisticated cybersecurity technology, but that would not necessarily prevent the human error that is behind many cyber breaches.