According to science minister David Willetts, the UK’s largest companies are failing to take IT security into account in their decision making.
In a report by the Telegraph, a survey conducted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that only 14 per cent of FTSE 350 firms are regularly considering cyber threats, despite the increasingly high level of online crime.
Science Minister David Willetts said: “The cyber crime threat facing UK companies is increasing. Many are already taking this extremely seriously, but more still needs to be done. We are working with businesses to encourage them to make cyber security a board-level responsibility.”
To tackle the growing threat, the Government is working with industry to develop an official “cyber standard” which will help kick-start the adoption of good cyber practices. Backed by industry, the kitemark-style standard will be launched early next year as part of the £860 million cross-government National Cyber Security Programme.
Mr Willetts said: “The cyber standard will promote excellence in tackling cyber risks, help businesses better understand how to protect themselves, and ultimately increase the nation’s collective cyber security.”
Mark Brown, director of information security at EY, said: “For a long time, businesses have known that they need to act to tackle this increasing threat, but they have been missing a robust framework to guide them through the complex, and to an extent unknown, cyber landscape. The organisational standard for cyber security will bring the first major step in that much awaited clarity.
“However, now that the penny has dropped, our collective efforts need to focus on ensuring high levels of take up from the business community. Admittedly, businesses need to accept a shift in culture when it comes to dealing with the reality of the cyber threat.
“hey need to look at the cyber criminal community, learn from their practises, and move away from their, so far, defensive approach to a more proactive stance. However, until we get to that point of maturity, the UK Government should explore every option available, from tax incentives to assistance funding, to ensure the maximum number of firms adopt and benefit from this initiative.”