Trend Micro: 89% of Australian IT Decision Makers Believe Organisations Compromise on Cybersecurity in Favour of Other Goals

Trend Micro study reveals urgent need for new way to discuss business risk

SYDNEY, February 10, 2022Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cybersecurity leader, today announced new research* revealing that 89% of Australian IT decision makers claim their business would be willing to compromise on cybersecurity in favour of digital transformation, productivity, or other goals. Additionally, 87% have felt pressured to downplay the severity of cyber risks to their board.

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“Australian IT leaders are self-censoring in front of their boards for fear of appearing repetitive or too negative, with over a third claiming this is a constant pressure. But this will only perpetuate a vicious cycle where the C-suite remains ignorant of its true risk exposure,” said Ashley Watkins, Vice President, Trend Micro ANZ. “We need to talk about risk in a way that frames cybersecurity as a fundamental driver of business growth – helping to bring together IT and business leaders who, in reality, are both fighting for the same cause.”

The research reveals that less than half (47%) 50% of IT leaders and 35% of business decision makers believe the C-suite completely understand cyber risks. Although some think this is because the topic is complex and constantly changing, many believe the C-suite either doesn’t try hard enough (28%) or doesn’t want (19%) to understand.

There’s also disagreement between IT and business leaders over who’s ultimately responsible for managing and mitigating risk. IT leaders are 10% more likely than business leaders to point to IT teams and the CISO. 49% of respondents claim that cyber risks are still being treated as an IT problem rather than a business risk.

This friction is causing potentially serious issues: 25% of respondents believe cybersecurity is the biggest business risk today, and 62% claiming it has the highest cost impact of any business risk – a seemingly conflicting opinion given the overall willingness to compromise on security.

There are three main ways respondents believe the C-suite will sit up and take notice of cyber risk:

*Trend Micro commissioned Sapio Research to interview 5321 IT and business decision makers from enterprises larger than 250 employees across 26 countries. The survey was conducted among 207 IT and business decision makers from enterprises larger than 250 employees in Australia


About Trend MicroTrend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fuelled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro's cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organisations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defence techniques optimised for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organisations to simplify and secure their connected world.

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Michaela Carnevale