05 Mar 2015

UK businesses must become more cyber aware

Summary: A recent report conducted on behalf of the UK Government has found that many UK businesses do not have the necessary skills and knowledge of cyber security processes.

Research from the Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign found that 78% of businesses held at least one misconception about cyber security in the UK, while 66% of those surveyed didn’t think their business was vulnerable.

Over a quarter of respondents were under the impression that only companies which handle online cash transactions were vulnerable to hacking threats, while a further 22% held the view that cyber criminals are not interested in smaller businesses, tending instead to target large enterprises.

Cyber security risks

In reality, businesses of all sizes continue to be at real risk of major cyber hacks, with 33% of SMEs were the victims of cyber attacks last year.

Based on the results of a previous government survey, in which researchers estimated the cost of a data breach at between £65,000 and £115,000 plus as many as ten wasted days, Cyber Streetwise concluded that the average UK SME’s negligence is putting 32% of its revenue at risk.

The ‘Cyber Streetwise’ campaign aims to change the way people view online safety and provide the public and businesses with the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their cyber security.

Commenting on the data, John Allan of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warned that business owners and managers “need to see and understand this threat clearly, and take the steps necessary to protect themselves”.

Professor Penelope Endersby, Head of Dstl’s Cyber and Information Systems Division, says: “Cyber security is vital to the nation and defence. Dstl is proud of its record in helping to defend our critical national infrastructure and also in developing new and novel capabilities to preserve the freedom of our armed forces to operate on a digital battlefield. Our adversaries present a real threat and it is therefore important that we too have the option to achieve military effects through and in cyberspace.”

Defence Contracts International Insight

The global cyber security market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11.8% over the period to 2018.

In order to maintain a commercial advantage, it is important for businesses to protect themselves from cyber threats including hacking and system failure, as well as understanding how to transform these threats into business opportunities in areas such as training, IT, data protection and emergency planning.

Exclusive to DCI, you can now download your free guide to maximising all the potential business opportunities available in the cyber security industry.

To get your copy, visit the DCI Industry Reports centre here