Despite 95 percent of CIOs expecting an increase in cyberthreats over the next three years, only 65 percent currently have a cybersecurity expert, according to a survey by Gartner Inc.
It also reveals that skills challenges continue to plague organisations that undergo digitisation, with digital security staffing shortages considered a top inhibitor to innovation.
The company gathered data from 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries and across major industries representing approximately $13 trillion in revenue/ public sector budgets and $277 billion in IT spending.
Many cybercriminals not only operate in ways that organisations struggle to anticipate but also demonstrate a readiness to adapt to changing environments according to Rob McMillan, Research Director at Gartner.
"In a twisted way, many cybercriminals are digital pioneers, finding ways to leverage big data and web-scale techniques to stage attacks and steal data. CIOs can't protect their organizations from everything, so they need to create a sustainable set of controls that balance their need to protect their business with their need to run it," he said.
About 35 percent of survey respondents indicate their organisation has already invested in and developed some aspect of digital security, while an additional 36 percent are actively experimenting or planning to implement in the short term. Gartner predicts that 60 percent of security budgets will be in support of detection and response capabilities by 2020.
"Taking a risk-based approach is imperative to set a target level of cybersecurity readiness. Raising budgets alone doesn't create an improved risk posture. Security improvements must be prioritised by business outcomes to ensure the right amount is spent on the right things." he said.
According to the survey, many CIOs consider growth and market share as the top-ranked business priority for 2018. Growth often means more diverse supplier networks, funding models, patterns of technology investing as well as different products, services and channels to support.
"The bad news is that cybersecurity threats will affect more enterprises in more diverse ways that are difficult to anticipate. While the expectation of a more dangerous environment is hardly news to the informed CIO, these growth factors will introduce new attack vectors and new risks that they are not accustomed to addressing," said McMillan.
The survey also says that 93 percent of CIOs at top-performing organisations say that digital business has enabled them to lead IT organisations that are adaptable and open to change.
"Cybersecurity is faced with a well-documented skills shortage which is considered a top inhibitor to innovation. Finding talented, driven people to handle the organisation's cybersecurity responsibilities in an endless function," he said.