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Loss of sensitive data in the past 12 months exacerbated by employee turnover: survey

59% of CISOs in Singapore also believe that human error is their organisation's biggest cyber vulnerability: Proofpoint

More than half (55%) of chief information security officers (CISOs) in Singapore have dealt with a material loss of sensitive data in the past 12 months. Of those, 87% say employees leaving the organisation played a role in data loss incidents, according to the 2023 Voice of CISO report by Proofpoint.

In line with that, the top threats perceived by CISOs this year are insider threats, cloud account compromise and business account compromise. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents also believe that human error is their organisation's biggest cyber vulnerability.


Besides that, the report reveals that 80% of CISOs feel at risk of experiencing a material cyberattack in the next 12 months, up from 65% last year. Yet, only 45% believe their organisation is prepared to cope with a targeted cyberattack, and 68% think they have adequate controls to protect their data.

“Security leaders must remain steadfast in protecting their people and data, a task made increasingly difficult as insiders prove themselves as a significant contributor to sensitive data loss. If recent devastating attacks are any indication, CISOs have an even tougher road ahead, especially given the precarious security budgets and new job pressures. Therefore, CISOs must ensure they focus on the right priorities to move their organisations toward cyber resilience,” says Ryan Kalember, Proofpoint’s executive vice president of Cybersecurity Strategy.

Given the increased volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, two-thirds (67%) of CISOs feel they face unreasonable job expectations. They are concerned about personal liability (56%) and have experienced burnout in the past 12 months (70%).

“Our report reveals that amidst the rising difficulties of protecting their people and defending data, CISOs are being tested at a personal level with higher expectations, burnout, and uncertainty about personal liability. The improving relationship between security leaders and board members gives us hope, however, and this partnership will enable organisations to overcome the new challenges they face this year and beyond,” says Yvette Lejins, resident CISO for Asia Pacific and Japan at Proofpoint.

The 2023 Voice of the CISO report examines third-party survey responses from more than 1,600 CISOs at mid-to-large size organisations across 11 different industries. Throughout the course of Q1 2023, 100 CISOs were interviewed in each market across 16 countries: Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, UAE, KSA, and Brazil.

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