At a time when the threat environment has never been more dangerous, cybersecurity awareness is at an all-time high.

However, even with increasing education, a surprisingly high percentage of organisations are still underprepared to mount a strong defence against cyber threats.

In Cisco’s first ever Cybersecurity Readiness Index, based on metrics across five pillars of IT security (identity, devices, network, application workloads, and data) and the implementation stage of 19 security solutions with those, only 15% of the 6700 were met the requirements to be considered to “mature” in their cyber readiness. Some 30% percent were rated “progressive” in their preparedness, while 47% were categorised as formative in their security implementations and 8% are very early in their security journeys, with a beginner ranking.

This is all the more surprising given that 60% of the surveyed enterprises suffered a cybersecurity incident in the last 12 months. And these were often costly with 71% saying the incident cost them at least $100,000 and 41% pegging the expense at $500,000 or more.

Cybersecurity awareness linked to specific industries

Preparedness is linked to a degree to the organisation’s industry, and how much is at stake in the event of a breach. Some 21% of retail organisations were rated as mature in cyber readiness while 19% of institutions in financial services and 18% of healthcare organisations achieved that designation.

There is also a variance in the maturity of readiness by individual pillar that maps to level of risk associated with it. The lack of effective identity management was cited the most often as the top risk. To that end, 95% of organisations have deployed an identity management solution.

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By GlobalData

There is a silver lining in that corporate awareness of the underwhelming level of readiness in most enterprises is making future security investments a priority. Some 86% percent of enterprises say they are raising their cybersecurity budgets by more than 10% in the next year.