Over the last few years, cyber security has been propelled to the forefront of the public eye. With cyber-attacks/breaches becoming more prevalent and severe than ever before, it’s a highly concerning issue. In fact, research by Beaming shockingly revealed that 2.9 million UK firms suffered cyber security breaches last year (2016), costing firms an alarming £29.1 billion
With 83% of UK businesses online, the consequences of a cyber-attack/breach can be devastating. According to security professionals consulted by networking hardware company Cisco, operations of an organisation (36%) are most likely to be affected by any potential cyber-attack/breach. After operations finances (30%), brand reputation (26%), customer retention (26%) and intellectual property (24%) are the most affected.
No organisation with a desire to achieve favourable results and grow successfully wants to be in a position of having critical functions compromised. Yet, figures show that nine out of 10 businesses don’t even have an incident management plan in the event of a cyber-attack/breach.
SavoyStewart.co.uk sought to find out how serious business leaders are about cyber security. To achieve this, they analysed findings from Gov.uk (whom consulted over 1,500 firms) to see if cyber security was a high priority for directors/senior management in a range of sectors.
The research fascinatingly revealed:
It was found that 60% of directors/senior management in finance and insurance consider cyber security a very high priority– the highest amongst the analysed sectors. Thereafter, directors/senior management in education, health or social care – consider cyber security as a very high priority at just under 50%.
With only 15% of directors/senior management in the hospitality and food sectors classifying cyber security as a very high priority, it seems they are the least concerned by prospective threats. Directors/senior management operating in the entertainment, service or membership industries are only slightly more apprehensive – with 21% regarding cyber security as a very high priority.
Matthew Yates, a senior IT consultant, said: “Cyber security cannot be ignored. The implications of a cyber-attack or breach can be detrimental towards any company’s reputation and finances. Key decision makers therefore need to put an emphasis on cyber security by placing it at the top of their agenda. In doing so, they can effectively improve their cyber protection against potential threats. More importantly, establish a companywide precedent on embracing cyber security and its everyday importance”.
Darren Best, managing director of SavoyStewart.co.uk, commented: “The calamity caused by recent cyber-attacks/breaches emphasises the need to take cyber security very seriously. With threats, likely to intensify as cyber criminals become more ruthless, businesses cannot rest on their laurels. Business leaders cannot afford to be just concerned or treat it as another risk management exercise. They need to effectively understand, carefully manage and thoroughly assess the security of their IT estate to continually get the basic defences right. On top of this, adequate governance and employee education on cyber security can go a long way in protecting a business’s key capabilities and functions”.