Chinese companies' spending on cybersecurity is almost a quarter more than the global average, according to a survey by global consultancy firm PwC.
The average cybersecurity budget by surveyed companies in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong is 23.5 percent higher than the global average, with a total average budget of .3 million per company.
Of the respondents, 83 percent cited digital transformation as an underlying motivation for investing in cybersecurity, and 72 percent of the respondents from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong have an internet of things (IoT) security strategy in place, above the global average of 67 percent.
"We are seeing that many enterprises in China, particularly tech-savvy companies, are increasingly sensitive to the potential damage cyberthreats pose. Consequently, alert companies in China continue to leverage cybersecurity as a competitive advantage and are taking pre-emptive action to reduce their exposure," said Lisa Li, cybersecurity and privacy partner with PwC China.
Survey findings for the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong showed customer records were the most commonly acknowledged target of security infractions, flagged by 46 percent of respondents.
Further, as mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous tools in workplaces, survey data reveals that 46 percent of the respondents recorded exploitation of mobile devices as the point of breach in security incidents.
In addition to cybersecurity threats, companies must also prepare to meet the challenges of complying with rigorous new laws and regulations, the report said. For instance, China Cybersecurity Law has been in effect since June 2017.
The data also reflect that chief information security officer or chief security officer roles are becoming more prevalent within Chinese companies, as are security professionals who reinforce security management. Notably, the roles are now acknowledged as significant by the more tech-savvy organisations.
"Businesses face an increasingly complex security scenario. Companies that want to succeed in China and enter overseas markets will need to adapt to the rapidly evolving technology, which simultaneously expand business potential and broaden vulnerability to security incidents," said Samuel Sinn, cybersecurity and privacy partner with PwC China.
Qi Xiangdong, chairman of 360 Enterprise Security Group, an internet security company affiliated with Qihoo 360, said financial institutions should increase investment in cybersecurity, which will enhance the core competitiveness of such firms.
"There will be enormous opportunities for us in 2018 and our business is expected to grow 60 percent. Meanwhile, we will put more emphasis on the cybersecurity of industrial internet, healthcare and energy sector next year," Qi said.