2024 Global Digital Trust Insights

GenAI for cyber defence is on the rise

Global Digital Trust Insights
  • Issue
  • 10 minute read

Cyber risks are considered a top threat, but businesses are eager to reap the benefits of Generative AI

PwC’s latest Global Digital Trust Insights reveal that in Belgium, senior executives consider cyber risks as one of their top three risk mitigation priorities, along with inflation and macroeconomic volatility. The top cyber threats that they are concerned about are hack-and-leak operations, attacks on connected devices, ransomware, cloud-related threats and other system breaches. The main impacts they fear are damage to the company brand, including loss of customer confidence, loss of revenue and criminal or civil liabilities.

 

The majority of respondents in Belgium are highly positive about the benefits of Generative AI (GenAI) for their business, such as new lines of business and improved productivity.

 

Most do not expect catastrophic cyber attacks in the short term, but implement a range of measures to counter cyber threats, including using large language models or GenAI for cyber risk detection and mitigation. As part of their cyber risk mitigation, respondents are also focusing on establishing a strong cyber talent strategy and on implementing a zero trust concept for user authentication.

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Global Digital Trust Insights

Belgian report

The 2024 Digital Trust Insights Survey was designed to capture the views of Business and IT leaders around the world on the challenges and opportunities to improve and transform cybersecurity in their organisation in the next 12-18 months.

It included a core set of questions for respondents in all job roles and an additional set of questions for those in Security and IT roles (CIO, CSO, CTO, Cybersecurity Director, Information Security Director, Information Technology Director).

Final results are based on 3,876 survey responses across 71 territories. Survey responses are from a wide range of industry sectors and organisation sizes, with almost half from $5billion+ organisations.

Key findings

Approach to cloud computing and cybersecurity technology

84%

 

of respondents in Belgium use private or public cloud providers, or a hybrid of private and public.

 

84%

 

use one integrated suite of cybersecurity technology solutions, or are moving towards an integrated suite of solutions in the next 2 years

 

48%

 

will increase their cyber budget by more than 5% in 2024, primarily to improve cloud, application, network and operational technology (OT) security.

 

Most respondents report using some form of cloud software, platform or infrastructure and having in place a risk management plan for data recovery, back-up and other issues. Investments focus primarily on technology modernisation, improvements in risk posture based on the cyber roadmap, and ongoing security training.


GenAI in the business

65%

 

of senior executives in Belgium would be comfortable allowing use of GenAI even before having internal policies for data governance and quality in place.

 

77%

 

agree that GenAI will help their organisation develop new lines of business within the next 3 years.

 

74%

 

agree that GenAI will help increase employees' productivity within the next 12 months.

 

Results indicate that businesses in Belgium are eager to reap GenAI’s potential benefits. However, this poses serious risks to privacy, cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, third-party relationships, legal obligations and intellectual property. To get the most benefit from this groundbreaking technology, organisations need to manage the wide array of risks in a way that considers the business as a whole.


Cyber talent strategy priorities over the next 12 months

58%

 

Upskilling their current workforce fast enough to keep up with demands of the organisation.

 

58%

 

Rebalancing between in-house and outsourced or managed services.

 

58%

 

Retaining key talent.

Talent shortage is a key obstacle in most areas of business today, in Belgium as elsewhere, with organisations competing to attract and retain the best talent in the market. Cyber technology is no exception; establishing a strong cyber talent strategy is a key part of establishing cyber resilience in organisations.


Shifting to a zero trust concept

83%

 

of respondents in Belgium consider secure cloud networking a top concern in the case of a cyber attack.

 

50%

 

implement identity and access management solutions.

50%

 

implement software-defined access control.

Mitigating cyber risks entails a very wide range of strategies. Among these, the zero trust concept is a core element of cyber attack prevention and risk limitation, requiring all users to be authenticated, authorised and continuously validated before being granted or keeping access to applications and data.

Zero trust follows the ‘never trust, always verify’ principle. This means always verifying all endpoints: contractor, partner and guest devices, and apps and devices used by employees to access work data, regardless of device ownership. However, in Belgium, 0% of respondents report secure endpoints as a major concern for potential cyber attacks. By contrast, 44% and 48% of respondents globally and in Western Europe, respectively, cite secure endpoints as a top concern. With the rise in remote working and use of multiple devices by individual users, securing all endpoints must be considered a priority.

Download our

Belgian Digital Trust Insights report

Contact us

Sven Pauwels

Sven Pauwels

Director, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 475 70 63 86

Connect with PwC Belgium