Cybersecurity leaders ranked preventing data breaches and ransomware defense among the top security priorities organizations strive for, according to a recent cybersecurity report.

A survey from WithSecure, formerly known as F-Secure Business, polled 3,072 information technology (IT) decision-makers and business leadership from organizations in 12 countries about a variety of business and cybersecurity topics, including their top priorities and challenges in the near future.

Top cybersecurity priorities by sector

Preventing data breaches was the most common technical security priority for respondents, with 33% of respondents ranking it a priority. Certain sectors prioritize data breach prevention higher than others, with healthcare, IT, manufacturing, the public sector and education, and trade and commerce ranking it as their top security priority.

Other common priorities included ensuring protection against malware/ransomware, preventing advanced email-based threats such as phishing or business email compromise, ensuring security of cloud-based collaboration applications, and ensuring the security of an increasingly diverse pool of devices, services and software.

Common security outcomes

Safeguarding their remote/hybrid workforce was the most common business security outcome sought by organizations. It was the most identified outcome by survey participants from Canada, Finland, the U.K. and the U.S., as well those working in manufacturing, public service and education, and professional services (such as media and advertising, tourism, etc.).

While safeguarding remote workers was the most frequent business security outcome identified by respondents, creating a strong “security-first” culture was also in the top five. Other common outcomes highlighted by respondents included increasing the speed and effectiveness of their response to cybersecurity incidents, increasing their understanding of cyber security threats/risks and awareness across the organization, and securing business continuity without interruptions.

For more survey information, click here.