Most Fortune 500 organizations lack an authentic, lasting commitment to cyber security: Study

38% of the 2019 Fortune 500 have no Chief Information Security Officer

Most Fortune 500 organizations lack an authentic, lasting commitment to cyber security: Study - CIO&Leader

77% of Fortune 500 organizations make no indication on their websites about who is responsible for their security strategy, according to Bitglass’ latest report, The Cloudfathers: An Analysis of Cybersecurity in the Fortune 500. Additionally, 52% do not have any language on their websites about how they protect the data of customers and partners (beyond a legally required privacy notice).

Bitglass researched the members of the 2019 Fortune 500 and analyzed public-facing information such as what is available on their websites. It aimed to uncover whether the world’s leading companies are committed to enhancing their cybersecurity initiatives.

The results demonstrate that most organizations lack an authentic, lasting commitment to cyber security, with certain industries being less security conscious than others. As breaches continue to cost brands millions, incite executive turnover, decrease stock prices and harm countless stakeholders, it is crucial that organizations appoint relevant leadership and prioritize proper cyber security.

Some of the other key findings include:

  • 38% of the 2019 Fortune 500 does not have a Chief information security officer (CISO).
  • Of this 38%, only 16% have another executive listed as responsible for cyber security strategy, such as a vice president of security.
  • Of the 62% that do have a CISO, only 4% have them listed on their company leadership pages. Most security-conscious industries in the Fortune 500:
  • The transport industry is the most security conscious vertical, with 57% of its companies listing an executive as responsible for cyber security strategy. The aerospace industry (33%) and the insurance industry (30%) come in second and third, respectively.
  • 89% of organizations in the aerospace industry have information available on their websites about how they are protecting the data of customers and partners. Aerospace is followed by finance (72%) and technology (66%).
  • No hospitality companies list an executive who is responsible for cyber security strategy. The manufacturing and telecommunications industries follow closely behind at 8% and 9%, respectively.
  • Within each of the construction, oil and gas, and hospitality industries, only 25% of organizations have information on their websites about how they protect customer and partner data.

“Corporate social responsibility initiatives have made it on to the websites of the Fortune 500, but research has shown that the same level of importance is not being given to publicly demonstrating commitment to cybersecurity initiatives,” said Anurag Kahol, Chief Technology Officer of Bitglass.

“Lax security and its resulting breaches have long-term repercussions for organizations as well as their customers, shareholders, partners and other stakeholders. Members of the Fortune 500 should be focused just as much on protecting personal data and consumer privacy as they are on other areas of social responsibility.”


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