Two in three U.S. organizations believe the distraction caused by the pandemic poses a "significant risk" to operational technology (OT) environments, according to a study commissioned by Sapien Cyber and administered by Norstat.

The report, "The C-Suite's Guide to Cyber Risks," used survey findings from 100 Chief Security Officers (CSO), Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) and other board-level security experts at large U.S. enterprises to understand how the C-suite is taking on evolving cybersecurity threats.

While the study highlights the potentially devastating effects of the pandemic on OT environments across the country, 90% of enterprises have evaluated the threats they face in OT environments, an encouraging sign that this crucial area of an organization’s IT systems isn’t being overlooked.

The report highlighted six C-suite-level strategies that security leaders believe could help reduce cyber risk, including:

  1. Discuss cybersecurity prominently in board meetings (79%)
  2. Thoroughly evaluate the business risks of cyber threats (64%)
  3. CEOs should assume overall responsibility for organizational cybersecurity (63%)
  4. Increase cybersecurity budgets (62%)
  5. Develop long-term cybersecurity strategies (57%)
  6. Amend reporting structures to give security direct board access (50%)

A third of CSOs and other board-level security experts believed the CEO was the "biggest barrier" to improving cybersecurity, putting a spotlight on a perceived lack of recognition for cybersecurity’s importance amongst company leaders.

For more survey findings, download the report here.