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Chinese companies outspending the world on cyber security

A new PwC report says Chinese firms spend 25 percent more than the global average on cyber security and can leverage this as a competitive advantage.

Chinese companies spend almost a quarter more on cyber security a year than the global average — US$6.3 million against US$5.1 million — and are leveraging that as a competitive advantage, an annual PwC report released on Friday shows.

“We are seeing that many enterprises in China, particularly tech-savvy companies, are increasingly sensitive to the potential damage cyber threats pose," said PwC China Cybersecurity and Privacy Partner Chun Yin Cheung, speaking after the release of the company's Global State of Information Security Survey.

"And consequently, alert companies in China continue to leverage cyber security  as a competitive advantage to take pre-emptive action to reduce their exposure."

The survey polled 9,500 cyber security professionals and executives in 122 countries and territories in 75 industries. including 460 respondents in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Digital tansformation is the underlying motivation for cyber security investment and the Internet of Things is now the top priority, 83 percent of respondents said.

Sixty percent said better cooperation between business units, including financial, digital and IT, was also a priority. Biometrics and advanced authentication ranked third.

China is also leading the the world in the adoption of the Internet of Things cyber security, where investment has grown rapidly over the past year.

Forty-six percent of those surveyed said customer records were the biggest target of security breaches, followed by 38 percent listing issues such as online fraud and 36 percent identifying email compromise.

At the same time, companies are preparing to meet the challenges of complying with new cyber security  laws and regulations, including China’s new cyber security law, which came into effect in June, and the EU General Data Protection Regulations that will begin in May.

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