More than half of CIOs in the 2016 CIO 100 said that their organisation had detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months, a small decrease from the 2015 figure of institutions detecting a security breach.
Some 51% of CIOs across industry - including local and central government, charities, retail, financial services, utilities, the NHS, transport, media, universities, and manufacturing - responded they had detected a security breach in the last year, showing the cyber threat is a constant worry for CIOs whether you are supporting underprivileged children and aid workers worldwide, handling billions of pounds in financial assets, protecting intellectual property in the pharmaceutical industry, selling boutique fashion products or serving millions of healthcare patients in the UK.
Last year 56% of organisations represented in the CIO 100 responded they had detected a security breach in the previous 12 months, while 19 in 20 said cyber security had risen up their management agenda, 91% felt their organisation fully understood the threat posed by cyber intrusions, and 73% also revealed cyber concerns had led to an increase in their security budget.
This month the Department for Culture, Media & Sport published its Cyber Security Breaches 2016 report, which found that "65% of large companies detected a cyber security breach or attack in the past year", with 69% of of businesses responding cyber security was either a very high or fairly high priority for senior management.
While Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey's foreword to the government report comments on the impact to business and 'The Economy', in the 2016 CIO 100 public sector organisations and the NHS are well represented in the organisations battling cyber crime, with the 2015 CIO 100 noting they were also the least likely to respond they would see a corresponding increase in budget to deal with the threat.
Security editor for CIO UK's sister titles Techworld and Computerworld UK, John Dunn, said at the time: "As one might expect, things are a bit worse in the public sector, strapped for cash and under incredibly scrutiny. Nobody here wants to fail, nor can afford the publicity that would bring. There is fear in the air."
Dunn noted following the 2015 CIO 100 that those reporting security breaches was probably the tip of the iceberg in the battle against cyber threats.
"It's no surprise that 95% of respondents said cybersecurity had risen up the organisational agenda nor that nine out of 10 have come to terms with the possible damage. But does this necessarily mean the issue is being taken seriously at last?
"Budgets appear to be rising but still over half admitted to having detected an intrusion in the previous 12 months. Detection is always better than non-detection but the fact that half of those asked had suffered a breach, even one they know had occurred, is still extraordinary. That means that large numbers of firms are suffering anything from micro-breaches to more serious incidents.
"However, there is still no way of estimating the seriousness of these events. There is no way of gaining visibility on what is happening inside UK organisations; where breaches are covered by the Data Protection Act which is considered best practice.
"Until we gain that visibility through mandated reporting to someone, even if anonymous, the outside world has no way of understanding the size of the problem faced by the economy."