As the year nears its end, a wealth of cyber security surveys have been released. The underlying theme is that the number of cyber-attacks has increased in 2015 and that many business leaders are still not doing enough to counter the threat.
A survey, recently released by training company QA, showed that 81% of UK based companies experienced some type of cyber security breach over the course of 2015. Over half of the IT security personnel interviewed said that a breach had resulted in a loss of data, with 45% admitting that the breach had resulted in a loss of money for the company and created a PR problem which had negatively impacted upon their organisation’s reputation.
Surprisingly, only 27% said that they were planning to improve and invest in cyber security in 2016, with a large number stating that the lack of understanding of the threat at the top of their organisations being a deciding factor.
SMEs Still Not Taking Cyber Security Seriously
A separate report, by Zurich Insurance, polled over 3,000 SMEs in 15 countries and showed that only 8% of SMEs believe that cybercrime represents the biggest threat to their organisations. Whilst the struggle to increase awareness of the threats has made some headway, as in the last survey (taken in 2013), only 4% said that cybercrime was the biggest danger. The majority of the SMEs surveyed put traditional business risks at the top of their threat lists.
The report also showed that nearly one in six of the companies polled believed that they were too small to be of interest to cyber criminals. The problem with this mind-set is that it is simply not true, hackers often prefer to attack smaller, likely easier targets. Large organisations (hopefully) have tough to crack security measures in place and these often act as a deterrent; SMEs on the other hand are often severely lacking in such security, making them easy targets.
The UK Government has said that a security breach at an SME can cost the business £300,000, a figure that could have a devastating impact on the affected company. SMEs are also more likely to lack the staff with the expertise needed to resolve problems caused by a breach which in turn can put a company out of action for an extended period of time. Reputational damage can also have a bigger impact on an SME than a larger business, as it is likely more able to ride out a wave of bad publicity.
Cyber Essentials Funding
To assist SMEs with improving their cyber security, the Government is providing an additional opportunity to receive Cyber Security Innovation Vouchers worth £5,000.
The vouchers allow an SME to pay for external expert advice on how to defend their business against cyber-attacks and how to achieve Cyber Essentials accreditation. Time is running out to apply for the latest round of funding, with the deadline of January 6th fast approaching.
You can register and apply for the vouchers here: http://bit.ly/1kkqpYe
PGI Cyber’s Services & Cyber Essential Portal has been designed to streamline the process of ordering services and online certification of the Cyber Essentials offered by PGI Cyber.