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Front-Office Recognition, Investment Urged in Corporate Cybersecurity Fight

By KYW tech editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Cybersecurity concerns are taking a bigger bite out of business budgets, but one expert says it's a lot cheaper to fend off an attack than it would be to pick up the pieces.

British government officials say nearly every small and large business in the UK has had some kind of security breach in the past year, with some hacks costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It's a bit tougher to quantify in the US, says David Burg. He heads cybersecurity consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"That's because many of the breaches manifest themselves over time, and it takes time for a business to feel or to understand or to measure the impact of a breach," he explains. "Many of these sophisticated attackers in the world today target intellectual property, deal documents, or very sensitive communications or information that are essential to the essence of businesses," Burg explains.

Today, there are threats from the outside -- 'hacktivist' groups and nation states -- but also from inside employees, who may not realize what they're doing at work online is weakening the security link.

Historically, Burg says, business leaders saw cybersecurity as a technology challenge; now, it's becoming clear to the corner office on down that such concerns are not just for the IT crowd.

"Spend the time to understand the most valuable assets inside the organization and then allocate resources to protect those assets," he says. "What we're encouraging our clients to do is not to view this as a cost, but view it as an investment in securing the most valuable assets inside the organization now and going into the future."

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