Wed, Jun 14, 2023

Kroll's 2023 State of Cyber Defense Report Reveals a Lack of Trust Ranked as the Biggest Security Concern by Cybersecurity Decision-Makers Globally

New York – Kroll, the leading independent provider of global risk and financial advisory solutions, has released its 2023 State of Cyber Defense Report: The False-Positive of Trust, which explores the balance between trust and cyber maturity. The findings reveal that 37% of senior security decision-makers “completely” trust that their organization is protected and can successfully defend against all cyberattacks, despite organizations experiencing an average of five major security incidents in the last year. Further, despite organizations deploying on average eight cybersecurity platforms, the higher the average number of platforms installed, the more cybersecurity incidents organizations have experienced.

The correlation between the number of security tools and the number of security incidents suggests that trusting security tools alone is misguided, and security teams may not fully understand the threats they face. Further, despite the number of security tools deployed, only 24% have a managed detection and response (MDR) or managed security service provider Solution (MSSP). This confirms that having multiple security tools on a network does not guarantee protection, and without a partner that routinely manages and updates the security monitoring solutions—what an MDR provider would perform—organizations are more vulnerable to threats.

The 2023 State of Cyber Defense Report: The False-Positive of Trust surveyed 1,000 senior IT security decision-makers in Q1 2023 at firms with $50 million (mn) to $10 billion (bn) in revenue. The survey was carried out by an independent specialist in market research, Vanson Bourne, and all respondents had some responsibility or knowledge of cybersecurity within their organization. Respondents were from the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Brazil. The survey and report look to understand the levels of organizational trust and how that can have wide-ranging impacts on effectively dealing with cybersecurity challenges. 

Pierson Clair, Managing Director of Cyber Risk at Kroll, commented: “To navigate the current threat landscape, trust is imperative. There needs to be trust in teams, trust in technology and its configuration, in intelligence sources, and with suppliers. However, there is a critical balance to be made on how much and where that trust should be placed. Further, there is a frequent overestimation in the capabilities of security tools without continued managed response. Of course, this is understandable considering the sheer volume of data that security teams deal with and the number of cyber incidents businesses tackle daily. Security teams want solutions that will fix today’s problems, without appreciating the fact that there is no ‘one-and-done’ solution for an everchanging landscape.” 

Key global findings from Kroll’s 2023 State of Cyber Defense: The False-Positive of Trust include: 

  • Trust is Clearly an Issue
    Over a third (42%) of information security decision-makers reported a lack of trust as their biggest challenge, and 95% information security decision-makers do not feel as though senior leadership trusts their security teams to protect their organizations from threats. 
  • Trust is Also Misplaced
    Trust in employees to stop a cyberattack (66%) is ranked higher than the ability of the security team to identify and prioritize security gaps (63%), the accuracy of data alerts (59%), the effectiveness of cybersecurity tools and technologies (56%), and the accuracy of threat intelligence data (56%). 
  • Multiple Security Tools Don’t Solve the Problem
    The higher the average number of platforms used, the more cybersecurity incidents organizations have experienced. The number of incidents and the fact that only 24% have MDR show that having the right tools, and not the number of tools, is an important factor in cyber protection. 
  • A Lack of Communication is the Most Frequent Cause for a Loss of Trust, as Reported by 47% of Information Security Decision-makers
    Almost all (97%) reported that they do not have complete trust across all aspects of their organization, clearly a widespread concern for IT leaders with potentially damaging consequences. 
  • There is a Cost to Lacking Trust
    An overwhelming majority (98%) agree there is a cost to a lack of trust in the workplace, with more complexity being the greatest perceived consequence (37%) globally. 
  • Only 23% of Businesses Have Cybersecurity Insurance
    Further only 20% of IT and security professionals who say that their security operations are cyber mature have cyber insurance. 
  • Outsourcing Cybersecurity Services is Gaining Popularity
    98% of those that do not already outsource their cybersecurity services have (or are considering) plans to do so, with 51% intending to do so in the next 12 months. However, 89% of IT and security decision-makers say improvement is needed in the transparency between their security teams and security vendors. 

Jason Smolanoff, President of Cyber Risk at Kroll, said: “To move beyond unsafe assumptions about their cybersecurity and become fully cyber resilient, organizations need to keep up to date on evolving cyber threats, gain in-depth understanding of what their security tools can defend against and maximize tooling in response. Organizations can achieve this by working with a trusted external partner to gain an independent and accurate perspective on their security status. Specialist support will provide the critical viewpoint needed to help businesses avoid internal security siloes and enhance their knowledge with constantly-updated threat insight.” 

To download the 2023 State of Cyber Defense: The False-Positive of Trust report, click here.

About Kroll 
As the leading independent provider of risk and financial advisory solutions, Kroll leverages our unique insights, data and technology to help clients stay ahead of complex demands. Kroll’s team of more than 6,500 professionals worldwide continues the firm’s nearly 100-year history of trusted expertise spanning risk, governance, transactions and valuation. Our advanced solutions and intelligence provide clients the foresight they need to create an enduring competitive advantage. At Kroll, our values define who we are and how we partner with clients and communities. Learn more at

For more information, contact: 

Devonne Cusi 
+1 212 450 8199 
[email protected] 

Savannah O’Hare 
+34 711 02 32 81 
Savannah.o’[email protected]  

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