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75% CEOs will be personally liable for hackings by 2024: Report

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“Technology leaders need to help CEOs understand the risks that CPSs represent and the need to dedicate focus and budget to securing them. “

New Delhi: As cyber incidents increase globally, three out of four CEOs will be personally liable for hacking events by 2024 as they will not be able to plead ignorance or retreat behind insurance policies, a Gartner report said on Tuesday.

Due to the nature of cyber-physical systems (CPSs), incidents can quickly lead to physical harm to people, destruction of property or environmental disasters.

Gartner predicted that incidents will rapidly increase in the coming years due to a lack of security focus and spending currently aligning to these assets.

“Regulators and governments will react promptly to an increase in serious incidents resulting from failure to secure CPSs, drastically increasing rules and regulations governing them,” said Katell Thielemann, research vice president at Gartner.

In the US, the FBI, NSA and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have already increased the frequency and details provided around threats to critical infrastructure-related systems, most of which are owned by private industry.

“Soon, CEOs won’t be able to plead ignorance or retreat behind insurance policies,” Thielemann said.

Gartner defines CPSs as systems that are engineered to orchestrate sensing, computation, control, networking and analytics to interact with the physical world (including humans).

The financial impact of CPS attacks resulting in fatal casualties will reach over $50 billion by 2023. Even without taking the actual value of human life into the equation, the costs for organisations in terms of compensation, litigation, insurance, regulatory fines and reputation loss will be significant, Gartner said.

“Technology leaders need to help CEOs understand the risks that CPSs represent and the need to dedicate focus and budget to securing them. The more connected CPSs are, the higher the likelihood of an incident occurring,” Thielemann said.

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