90% of IT professionals believe cybersecurity threats will grow rapidly as organisations adopt hybrid work models

6 October 2021

LONDON –HLB has published it’s 2021 cyber security report, “Threat or opportunity: Addressing the cyber-risk landscape in the age of hybrid working”. The report highlights that as organisations across the globe are adopting hybrid work models, CTO’s and IT managers face increased risks from cyber-attacks and data breaches whilst battling constant non-compliance from staff. This means that cybersecurity is now being actioned at a senior level.

Commenting on the report, Abu Bakkar, HLB’s Chief Innovation Officer said “It is clear from our research that cybersecurity is being taken more seriously, and at a senior level, but with over 90% of respondents believing threats will continue to grow at a rapid pace, there is work to do. A robust cybersecurity strategy is essential, to protect your business and your customers.”

From business continuity to cybersecurity

In 2020, leaders focused on putting technologies in place and getting employees back to work. However, in 2021 as cybersecurity risks have increased, leaders have shifted from being reactive to proactive. They have assessed the risks and now want to respond to them – their top priority is to develop an incident response plan.

Cyber-risk management and hybrid workplaces

As hybrid working increases, organisations turn to the cloud to support their workforce. While companies want to retain talent by offering flexibility, they also need to protect their organisations and need the right cybersecurity solutions in place. Overwhelmingly, the majority of 2021 HLB survey respondents said they had altered their cybersecurity strategies and protocols – 45% have changed them somewhat, and 39% have changed them drastically.

Cybersecurity is being taken more seriously, and at a senior level

Roughly one quarter of respondents had shifted to actioning cybersecurity at a senior level. Of those who reported making drastic changes to their cybersecurity policies and plans, this shift was more evident as 66% now oversee cybersecurity at a senior level. This is significant because historically, cybersecurity was seen as an IT role with less involvement from senior executives.

Jim Bourke, HLB Global Advisory Leader said “The pandemic changed how we view cybersecurity and protocols. And it’s fueled by remote working. With 81% of respondents saying they’ve changed something. It’s obvious that more people felt it was time to take this seriously.” 

Employees are at the core of cybersecurity for your organisation


Far too often it’s employees who are the weak link in cybersecurity. Our survey found that although 90% said they educate their staff, 33% constantly deal with non-compliance. Organisations not only need to review current training programmes and address their weaknesses, but they need to deal more effectively with non-compliance.

Read the full report

About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent advisory and accounting firms and through the power of 40,831 professionals across 156 countries, we combine local expertise and global capabilities to service client’s needs. Learn more about HLB’s global services and capabilities: www.hlb.global

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