What keeps CISOs up at night?

Here's what they said

We asked 100 cybersecurity professionals what was the number one threat that keeps them up at night. Here's what they said.

It's no secret that the quantity and severity of cyber threats are proliferating.

From phishing and ransomware to shadow IT and supply chain attacks, security professionals are left juggling a growing list of attack vectors being leveraged by increasingly sophisticated hackers.

At the same time, companies are reporting an overall gap in security preparedness and resources. In the healthcare sector, for instance, a full 75% of organizations reported falling victim to ransomware attacks in 2023 alone.

Similarly, software dependencies, plugins, and expanding tech stacks have led to a 430% jump in supply chain attacks. And then there are the social hackers, insider threats, web application vulnerabilities, privacy issues… the list is endless.

To gain a better understanding of how today's CISOs prioritize their efforts, we asked 100 security professionals what keeps them up at night.

Here's what they said.

As a cybersecurity professional, what keeps you up at night?

  • 39% answered: Lack of organizational buy-in.

  • 24% answered: Known network vulnerabilities.

  • 23% answered: Overlooking a security gap.

  • 14% answered: Getting fired after a security breach.

Shockingly, the plurality of respondents felt that their greatest threat doesn't come from external hackers, but rather from within their very own organization. Unfortunately, lack of buy-in is not unique and can't simply be mitigated with more security awareness training or tighter controls. When the leadership team doesn't prioritize cybersecurity, there is very little that a CISO can do.

Nearly a quarter of respondents reported that they are most concerned about known risks. Similar to organizational buy-in, known risks are an entirely internal risk and indicate a negligent attitude toward digital security. Taken together, the top two responses suggest that organizations are fostering an environment in which cybersecurity professionals feel unsupported and ill-prepared.

The lowest concern, however, offers a silver lining. Only 14% of respondents were most concerned about losing their job due to a security breach. Whether this implies a sort of fatalism (wherein organizations already expect to be breached) or a scarcity in available replacement talent, it's a positive sign. Barring any gross negligence or mismanagement, CISOs feel that they are unlikely to be scapegoated in the event of a breach.

We are at a critical point in the history of digital security. As cyber warfare continues to rage, governments and companies alike are finding it difficult to properly protect themselves or respond to known threats. A certain degree of helplessness has seeped in. At the same time, a lack of concern continues to prevail in boardrooms around the world. The status quo is unsustainable; the costs of inaction are far too great. How and when we make those changes will define the future of far more than our digital environment.

Learn more about how partnering with Silent Breach can lower your cyber risk and outsource liability. Silent Breach works with organizations of all sizes to craft customized security solutions. Contact one of our experts today.

About Silent Breach: Silent Breach is an award-winning provider of cyber security services. Our global team provides cutting-edge insights and expertise across the Data Center, Enterprise, SME, Retail, Government, Finance, Education, Automotive, Hospitality, Healthcare and IoT industries.