UAE workers say CEOs accountable for data breaches

New survey reveals workers expect management to be accountable for cyber attacks even if they are not informed



More than half of IT decision makers and office workers in the UAE expect their chief executive to be held accountable for a significant data breach, according to a new report.

The findings of the survey, conducted on behalf of VMWare by Vanson Bourne, revealed that workers expected management to take the blame for security failings even if they were not kept informed of their occurrence.

Of the IT decision makers surveyed, 58 per cent expected those at the top to take the blame for a cyber attack despite 36 percent admitting to not disclosing a significant breach to management.

Furthermore, 54 per cent of office workers in the country expected the same, despite 39 per cent using their personal device to access corporate data and 37 per cent admitting they would risk being in breach of their organisation’s security to carry out their job effectively.

“The disconnect between business leaders and IT decision makers is symptomatic of the underlying challenge faced as organisations seek to push boundaries, transform and differentiate, as well as secure the business against ever changing threats, said VMware MENA business solutions strategist Rasheed Al Omari.

The release of the survey follows a high-profile data beach at Qatar National Bank last month that exposed the personal data of thousands of clients.

Read: Qatar National Bank says customer accounts safe despite data breach

Its finding suggest that many respondents believe cyber attacks are inevitable. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed expected to be hit by a serious attack in the next 90 days and 23 per cent of IT decision makers in the UAE said that cyber threats were moving faster than their defences.

In addition, 40 per cent of IT decision makers said employees who are careless or untrained in cyber security were the greatest security challenge their business faces.

The March telephone and online survey of 1,700 IT decision makers and 3,500 office workers from Europe, Russia and the Middle East, followed previous research from the Economist Intelligence Unit in January and February.

This revealed that only 8 per cent of corporate leaders in Europe the Middle East and Africa considered cyber security a priority for their business.

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