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​Deloitte's The future of cyber survey 2019 finds that executives are utilizing a variety of digital transformation initiatives, including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), in a bid to simplify digital operations and increase efficiencies.

No one cyber initiative proved the winner, with respondents split relatively evenly between cloud (17%), AI and cognitive computing (15%), data analytics (14%), the IoT (14%), operational technology and industrial controls (14%) and blockchain and cryptocurrency (14%). (The remaining 12% say they use other initiatives.)

And while respondents admit that these types of digital transformation are some of the most challenging aspects of mitigating risk, risk management itself accounts for less than 10% of cyber budgets. The result: businesses are under strain, with 13% citing lack of adequate funding as the biggest obstacle, and 89% saying that of their cyber budget, less than 10% is allocated to digital transformation.

With funding in the spotlight,15% of respondents reveal they are struggling to prioritize cyber risk across the business, while 14% cite lack of management alignment on priorities and lack of skilled cyber professionals respectively as the biggest challenge. The areas of most concern are data integrity (35%), the actions of well-meaning employees (32%) and technical vulnerabilities (31%).

The survey highlights gaps that businesses have in defense investment and prioritization. This has been prevalent throughout 2019, when a number of data breaches hit the headlines: British Airways was fined £183 million for failing to protect people's data and Marriot Group was fined over £99 million for a similar breach. 

Deloitte's survey reveals that 90% of respondents have experienced disclosures of sensitive data within the past year, and for 57% of companies, their most recent cyber incident or breach has taken place within the last two years. Respondents said that these incidents have led to the loss of revenue due to operational disruption and loss of customer trust (21% respectively).

The future of cyber survey 2019 serves as an important reminder of the state of the cybersecurity market and the key take-home is clear: businesses understand the value of securing data, but few have the resources required to put this into practice. 

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