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Nordic CEOs view cybersecurity as the top risk for their business growth. However, this focus will not slow down their digital transformation journey. Nordic CEOs will continue to keep their companies at the cutting edge, but will take the right precautions to ensure cybersecurity.

The risk number one

Cybersecurity poses the top risk to growth, according to most Nordic CEOs (21 percent), followed by emerging and disruptive technology (19 percent), while their counterparts globally see environmental issues and climate change as the top risk. 

Which of the following risk pose the greatest threat to your organization's growth?

Source: 2019 Global CEO Outlook, KPMG International.

According to Inka Mero, CEO of Voima Ventures, cybersecurity plays a different role for public companies than it does for startups. Voima Ventures is a new deep tech fund, combining science, entrepreneurship and growth capital, which has just been launched in the Nordics. They invest in companies that are tapping into new future growth opportunities arising from the big global challenges. 

Inka Mero sees how different role the cybersecurity plays for different type of companies. 

— The big question in the boardroom is whether we are seriously prepared for a true cyberattack. I think only a few companies globally are ready to deal with such a threat.

Cyberattack is a case of when, not if

Nordic CEOs are more likely than their global colleagues to agree that becoming a victim of a cyberattack is a case of “when,” not “if,” for their organization (65 percent vs. 53 percent). 

— But even though CEOs in the Nordic countries realize the risk of such attacks, they’ve so far taken only modest measures to manage it – mostly focusing on very specific aspects of cybersecurity, says Mika Laaksonen, Head of Technology Advisory and Cyber Security Services in KPMG Finland.

The overall investment in cybersecurity, by both private companies and governments, has not been sufficiently high. They’ve now clearly woken up to this matter.

Mika Laaksonen
Head of Technology Advisory and Cyber Security Services
KPMG Finland

The ways in which companies and businesses operate in the Nordics are based on trust.

— One of the reasons why Nordic companies aren't ready for cyberattacks is that we live in such a trustful society, says Inka Mero.


Source of competitive advantage

Seventy-two percent of Nordic CEOs view cybersecurity as a strategic function and as a potential source of competitive advantage. Sixty percent of Nordic CEOs this year say that a strong cyber strategy is critical to engender trust with key stakeholders, compared with 51 percent last year.

mika laaksonen

— Cybersecurity is an enabler and creates a foundation for your business, Mika Laaksonen says.

—  Cybersecurity can help a company gain competitive advantage, but only if it is also able to provide innovative and distinguishable services, an intriguing user experience, and the necessary scalability and agility, he continues

Business data must be safe

Three-quarters of Nordic CEOs feel more confident about increasing their use of cloud technologies than at any point in the past three years, while at the same time harboring concerns about migrating all of their company’s business data to the cloud (58%). 

— The traditional model has been to protect information where it is stored and handled – which has typically been in the company’s own premises or in outsourced data centers. This no longer works with cloud services, says Mika Laaksonen.

— However, information must be protected no matter where it is stored. So questions related to information life cycle, encryption solutions and access management become very relevant, he continues.

Questions related to information life cycle, encryption solutions and access management become very relevant.

Download the full CEO Outlook Nordic Executive Summary

KPMG Technology Advisory and Cyber Security Services

In today’s digital world, decision-makers can’t afford to be held back by cyber risks. They need to make bold decisions and feel confident that their cyber strategy, defenses and recovery capabilities will protect their business and support their growth strategies.

At KPMG, our local and global network of business-savvy cybersecurity and technology advisory professionals understands that businesses cannot be held back by cyber risk. KPMG professionals recognize that cybersecurity is about risk management – not risk elimination. We don’t just recommend solutions — we also help implement them.