HIPAA Journal is the leading provider of news, updates, and independent advice for HIPAA compliance

2016 Global State of Cybersecurity Study Released

The threat landscape is ever changing and the risk of cyberattacks has grown enormously in recent years; however, organizations have responded to the increased threat level by implementing a range of new cybersecurity defenses to keep networks and data secure, according to a recent report on the global state of cybersecurity.

Cloud-enabled cybersecurity defenses have been deployed, advanced authentication software installed, and big data analytics are increasingly common. As a result, cybersecurity risks are, in many cases, being effectively managed.

One of the main advances has been the use of cybersecurity intelligence, which allows insights to be gained into the biggest security threats. This has allowed IT security professionals to manage risks more effectively, and allocate resources to deal with the biggest threats. We are now also seeing organizations adopt a more collaborative approach to data security, with greater sharing of intel between corporations to deal with a common threat.

Global State of Cybersecurity Assessed by PWC


The new Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) study delves deep into the world of IT security, assessing the measures taken by global corporations to address risk and decrease the probability of suffering cyberattacks. The study has revealed organizations are now increasingly willing to allocate sizable budgets to security defenses.

Get The Checklist

Free and Immediate Download
HIPAA Compliance Checklist

Delivered via email so verify your email address is correct.

Your Privacy Respected

HIPAA Journal Privacy Policy

The study has revealed investment in data security has increased considerably year on year. PWC determined that over the course of the past 12 months, 38% more security incidents have been reported and theft of “hard intellectual property” has risen by 56%. To combat new threats, security budgets have had to increase. 24% more money was spent on cybersecurity in 2015 than last year, which does seem to be having some effect. Financial losses caused by security incidents fell by 5%.

How Are Organizations Responding to the Increased Risk of Cyberattacks?


In response to the current threat level, organizations around the globe have adopted new strategic initiatives to reduce risk, and many have implemented new safeguards to defend their networks.

A recent HP/Ponemon Institute study into the global cost of cybercrime showed the importance of having a dedicated staff to deal with data security, and the positive effect this can have on the cyberattack mitigation costs. The appointment of skilled personnel reduced average spending considerably, in particular having a CISO/CSO in charge of security. The PWC study showed that global organizations have realized the value of employing cybersecurity personnel, with 54% of organizations already having appointed a CISO or CSO to be in charge of data security. 58% had an overall information security.

It is vital that employee training on data security awareness is provided to reduce the risk of data exposure through phishing schemes. The study showed that 53% of organizations were conducting staff training on data security regularly.

Constant vigilance was also important for 48% of survey respondents, who actively monitored for threats and analyzed security intelligence. 49% of respondents said they conduct threat assessments regularly while 52% have implemented security baselines for third parties.

PWC also explored how cybersecurity budgets were being deployed. 81% used a risk-based security framework, 69% employed cloud-based cybersecurity, and 62% now used big data analytics. Even with the considerable investment in defenses against cybercriminals, attacks are often successful. Because it is not possible to totally eliminate risk, 59% of respondents chose to purchase cybersecurity insurance in case an attack is successful.

The threat level may be increasing, but with continued investment in innovative multi-layered defenses, it is possible to effectively manage risk.

The full Global State of Cybersecurity 2016 Survey results can be downloaded here

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.