Just 49% of business leaders report that their organisation is well or very well protected against cyber threats, according to a new survey from cyber security expert, Red Helix.
The research, conducted in partnership with independent Business Development company Larato, was commissioned to provide insight into how business leaders view cyber security and its importance within their organisation. With notable cyber security breaches making headlines on a regular basis, it is clear that additional measures need to be put in place to safeguard organisations across the country.
The findings reveal that the majority of the 300 UK business leaders surveyed feel cyber security is an area that could be improved upon within their organisation. It is worth noting, however, that confidence in cyber protection varied considerably when looking at how organisations bought their cyber security. Out of those who considered their organisation to be very well protected, 60% had bought directly from a cyber security vendor. In contrast, those who had bought their cyber security as part of a managed service including other IT services, such as Office 365, made up just 23% of this group.
This finding suggests that those who procure their cyber security from generalist IT providers do so in the knowledge that their protection will be less secure than that offered by a cyber security specialist.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) also revealed that they wanted to work with an external cyber security partner, either by fully managing their cyber security or managing some of it, indicating a significant desire for collaboration and expert guidance. This remained broadly consistent regardless of business size, suggesting that the need for additional support isn’t impacted by the number of people within an organisation.
Marion Stewart, CEO, Red Helix, commented:
“Cyber security is not just a technical necessity, but a business imperative.
“Our recent survey highlights the fact that while the will and desire to fortify against cyber threats are very much there, the means and strategies are still evolving. We are dedicated to bridging this gap and ensuring that all businesses – regardless of size – can access the services they need and feel confident in their cyber defences.
“We urge all businesses to work collaboratively, leverage expertise and foster a culture of cyber awareness, so that collectively we can strengthen the cyber resilience of every UK organisation and safeguard the future of our economy.”
When asked about top business priorities over the next twelve months, strengthening protection against cybercrime was the third most common response (47%), coming just behind increasing revenues (55%) and reducing costs (49%). The results of the survey also found that 62% of respondents felt other business challenges meant their organisation struggled to invest the amount of time and money into cyber security that it would like to – highlighting again the desire to improve their company’s digital protection.
While the results of the survey may suggest that many UK business leaders feel there is room to improve on their security, they also show that this is an area many organisations are putting a great deal of investment into. Over two thirds (72%) of respondents said their company is now investing between 4-10% of their turnover in cyber security.
The main roadblock other than cash constraints, continues to be the skills shortage, particularly for smaller companies. A third of respondents from businesses with fewer than 100 employees said that a lack of technical expertise is preventing their organisation from investing in cyber security over the next 12 months. This is no doubt part of the reason so many companies are eager to work with external partners.