A new study by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan shows that companies that suffer major data breaches end up losing half their customers. Despite that, one-third of execs from major businesses believe data security is a waste of money, even though they know data breaches affect the bottom line.

The disconnect between executive perception and the reality of the cybersecurity environment is striking, as is evidenced by the Frost & Sullivan report. Business Insider writes, “The report added that, ‘astonishingly,’ most of the execs that found security initiatives a waste of money were in fact from companies that had suffered data breaches – breaches that the execs themselves previously admitted had ‘negative business impact.'”

Meanwhile, a separate Business Insider article that examined findings from the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report noted that pretexting attacks are on the rise. With pretexting, hackers use email accounts that appear to be that of top-level corporate executives at a company, in order to impersonate them. Acting as a CEO, for instance, the hacker will direct a subordinate to transfer money or process fake invoices.

After measuring the effectiveness of email security systems of organizations around the globe, Mimecast, an email and data security company saw a similar trend.The firm found an 80 percent increase in impersonation attacks.

With the plethora of data now available for sale on the dark web as a result of data breaches, not to mention increasingly sophisticated tools available for hacking, it’s becoming easier than ever for a cybercriminal to penetrate an organization. For executives who are on the line to ensure the success, stability, and brand integrity of an organization, it’s reckless to think that data security is not worth the investment.