Aug 30, 2022 - Technology

Why CEOs need to discuss cyberattacks

Reproduced from Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

Roughly 3 in 4 consumers say it's important for a business leader to discuss or take action against foreign cybersecurity threats, according to recent survey data from Morning Consult.

Why it matters: Many businesses have feared that discussing cybersecurity problems with the public would harm their brand's reputation. This new data suggests the tide could be turning.

By the numbers: 76% of survey respondents said in a series of three monthly surveys this year that it’s either “very” or “somewhat” important for business leaders to discuss or take action against foreign cyberthreats.

  • A similar share (75%) said the same about labor rights, while 67% said it was important for leaders to speak out or take action on civil liberties issues.
  • The survey was conducted among 2,200 adults in May, June and July, with a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Between the lines: The results track with the increasing number of executives who have started to publicly discuss cyber incidents affecting their companies.

  • SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna has said he is constantly advising leaders on how to speak to the public about their own incidents. Russian hackers infiltrated SolarWinds in 2020 to access the networks of nine federal agencies and about 100 private companies.
  • Earlier this year, identity management company Okta received scrutiny for not disclosing a security incident after a well-known cybercrime gang revealed details about it in underground hacking forums.
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