Most executives still do not equate security issues and cybercrime with potential loss of revenue, a Websense report has found.
The report, titled Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: A Global Perspective, found 82 per cent of executives have this mindset.
A/NZ country manager, Gerry Tucker, admits the number is high given the amount of publicity online security has had in the last 12 to 18 months.
"The fact that CSOs still believe the majority of their executives don't see that as a significant business impacting issue is surprising," he said.
Ponemon Institute report was carried out globally, though Tucker said the Australian results are strikingly similar to what was uncovered worldwide.
"Over half of respondents said the organisation is not protected from modern cyber attacks, and that's a reflection of what we're seeing elsewhere," he said.
Tucker adds organisations are still spending a lot of their security budget on technology that "just isn't as effective against the modern day threat."
Another key result Tucker points to is 57 per cent of businesses not having the ability to prevent data leaving.
"If you can't stop cybercriminals from getting in and taking data out, then you have a problem because you have gaps at both ends of the spectrum," he said.
The bottom line
The survey suggests that non-IT executives lack a substantial level of knowledge about cybersecurity.
Tucker attributes this to a struggle between connecting security from a technology point of view and the business benefit.
"Some organisations are working well at combining their risk capability with their security functions," he said.
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In the majority of cases, Tucker said the conversation is led from a security point of view as opposed to a risk one.
An encouraging development is that it is changing, and Tucker expects this to translate into opportunities for the channel.
"What we're going to see is a change in focus around resources and technologies that get utilised within organisations," he said.
"We're starting to see it already, but we'll see a change in priority in terms of where people are spending their dollars, driving new projects and technology purchases."
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.