43% of C-suite execs name cybersecurity as No. 1 operational challenge

The majority of C-suite executives (85 percent) agree cyberattacks will become more frequent and more costly, according to a global survey by the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

The survey, titled "Views from the C-Suite," asked 400 C-suite executives and board members from businesses around the world about the main opportunities and challenges they are seeing in their industry.

Here are five survey insights.

1. Cybersecurity (43 percent) is the top operational challenge faced by C-suites, followed by innovation (34 percent), business model efficiency (33 percent) and technology (33 percent).

2. Of respondents who reported cybersecurity as their top challenge, 38 percent said they are most concerned about weak defense systems. Executives also expressed concern about recruiting and retaining qualified IT talent.

3. C-suite executives said their greatest opportunities are adopting new technology (38 percent) and improving business models and strategy (36 percent).

4. Seventy-eight percent of respondents agreed technological innovation — such as artificial intelligence, distributed computing and biotechnology — will improve global productivity.

5. Forty-nine percent of executives indicated concern about the adoption of big data and predictive analytics technologies, saying it is a significant challenge, although 42 percent said the technologies represent an opportunity.

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