A Sneak Peek at Driving Cybersecurity Performance

We are excited to announce the launch our latest multi-client research program, Driving Cybersecurity Performance. The nine-month long follow-up to last year’s global study, The Cybersecurity Imperative, is distinct from other research, as it will provide executives with a comprehensive analysis of the ROI of cybersecurity investments.

What We’ve Learned

Despite increased investment in cybersecurity, most companies are still in the early stages of cybersecurity maturity. Many executives are still unclear as to how their practices compare with industry peers and what to invest in to generate the best ROI. To help remedy this, our thought leadership team will once again establish and collaborate with an advisory board consisting of world-class industry professionals, executives, and organizations to provide an evidence-based playbook that fills these knowledge gaps.


This Year’s Study

To carry out this research, a coalition of sponsoring companies, industry experts, and research organizations has been formed which includes, Verizon, Fiserv, KnowBe4, Checkpoint, the Internet Security Alliance, and more. Their unique insight coupled with our research capabilities will provide an innovative and profound look into cybersecurity best practices.

Now that our advisory board has been established, our research will begin with a survey of 1,000 Chief Information Security Officers (CISO). From there, our microeconomists, analysts, and survey experts will conduct cost-benefit and ROI analysis to measure the direct, indirect, and catalytic impacts of investments and strategies. This analysis will include the full costs of cyberattacks, including the direct financial costs, fines and legal costs, productivity loss, intellectual property costs, replacement costs, response/recovery costs, reputational, and operational costs. To supplement our quantitative research, we will conduct detailed interviews with cybersecurity specialists, cross-industry executives, and academic and legal experts. We find that these interviews help us validate our quantitative findings, provide us with richer best practice examples, and offer valuable actionable insights.

Similar to our approach with The Cybersecurity Imperative, we will ask executives to rate their progress in five functions prescribed by NIST – identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover, as well as their progress on taking an evidence-based approach to cybersecurity. Scores will be calculated for each category based on a ranking of 0 to 4 for each underlying activity. We will then use the scores to show trends by industry, location, revenue size, and other key parameters. The scores will also allow us to segment respondents into maturity stages and benchmark their practices and performance.

Stay Current With Our Research

Driving Cybersecurity Performance will involve multiple phases, carried out over the course of a nine-month period. To date, our established advisory board consists of Verizon, Fiserv, Optiv, KnowBe4, Check Point Software Technologies, Arceo, and Cowbell Cyber. Media partners include Edelman and WSJ Pro Cybersecurity.

Frequent updates and preliminary findings will be posted to the Driving Cybersecurity Performance microsite. Full findings will be available in the Spring of 2020. We are excited to begin this research program and share critical information to help executives improve their cybersecurity maturity. Please check the microsite often for news and updates. To learn more about how you can join this in-depth research initiative, contact us today.


ESI ThoughtLab is the thought leadership arm of Econsult Solutions, Inc. ESI ThoughtLab provides fresh ideas and evidence-based analysis to help business and government leaders cope with transformative change. Our thought leaders specialize in analyzing the impact of technological, economic, and demographic shifts on industries, cities, and companies.


Lou Celi is Founder and CEO of ESI ThoughtLab. During his more than 35 years of research, marketing and publishing work, Mr. Celi has helped top organizations build their businesses by engaging corporate and government decision makers. Prior to setting up ESI ThoughtLab, Lou was board director and president of Oxford Economics, where he built the firm’s successful business in the Americas and set up its global thought leadership practice.

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