- Global investors and senior management have paid more attention to cybersecurity over the past 18 months amid heightened awareness of data breaches and ransomware, as well as a surge in merger and acquisition activity, according to a report from GlobalData.
- Cybersecurity mentions in earnings transcripts were up 33% during the first half of 2021, compared with year ago figures, according to GlobalData.
- Mentions of cybersecurity-related risk were up 2% during the first half of 2021, compared with a year ago. However total mentions were up 30% during the same period in 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
The increased discussion around cybersecurity is an indication that senior-level management and the investment community is paying far more attention to data security in the enterprise than they have in the past, according to an analyst involved in the research.
"In 2021, discussions are driven by the rising risk around ransomware and malware due to prolonged work from home trends and digitization of sales or customer channels," Rinaldo Pereira, business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData, said.
The company analyzed earnings transcripts to gauge what issues were being discussed and GlobalData found that "malware," "ransomware" and "breach" were among the top keywords found in discussions on cybersecurity.
The findings echo earlier trends that the investment community and corporate boardrooms are taking cybersecurity far more seriously now than in prior years. The SolarWinds attack in 2020 brought the threat of sophisticated foreign actors to the doorstep of Fortune 500 companies and forced top executives to assess the risk these activities posed to brand reputation, finances and legal exposure.
Following the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange attacks, companies have been under increased pressure to disclose breaches, ransomware and other activity to investors in a timely manner. They've also been under pressure to disclose those incidents to federal authorities, in order to share threat intelligence with other companies.