Sonia Blizzard, MD of Beaming discusses with Security Buyer the approach of UK businesses to cybercrime

Speaking about the recent research conducted for Beaming during which they contacted over 500 UK business leaders Sonia has the following to say:
“We welcome the government’s focus on making the internet a more secure, positive and prosperous environment for businesses. Its commitment to fighting cybercrime is good news but it doesn’t guarantee our safety. It is a work in progress and the private sector needs to take responsibility here.”
“We don’t want to give businesses a false sense of security here. The number of specialist investigators seems low given the size of the threat and we need clarity around the reporting of cybercrime if we are to have faith in anything being done.
“The onus is on businesses to protect themselves. The biggest threat of all is human and all employees are responsible for data security, not just the IT department. Employees clicking on compromised links are a common cause of problems and ransomware is so sophisticated now that this can cause real issues very quickly.
“We are seeing an arms race between businesses that rely on the internet and those who use it for malicious purposes. Companies need to recognise this, understand where their data is kept and take steps to secure it.”
UK business security research
The following was found over the course of the research:

  • Cyber security incidents cost UK companies more than £34 billion last year.
  • Beaming’s survey shows that cyber security breaches cost UK companies £34.1bn in the year to 31 March 2016. The bills for managing malware and data theft incidents amounting to £7.5bn and £6.2bn respectively.
  • One in eight (13%) leaders said their IT infrastructure had been damaged by viruses over the last 12 months, costing infected organisations £10,516 in time and money spent managing each incident.
  • 7% of leaders admitted their organisations were hit by hackers in the last year, with the average cost of each attack estimated to be £16,264.
  • Viruses and data theft are the top security concerns in British boardrooms.
  • More than fifth (22%) of business leaders told Beaming’s researchers they were ‘highly concerned’ about the threat of computer viruses.
  • 18% of business leaders said they were highly concerned by data theft and had invested in extensive measures to combat hackers.
  • Fear of hackers was greatest amongst large companies, of which a third (33%) expressed a high level of concern.
  • 22% of all businesses now discuss cyber security regularly at board level.
  • Half of UK businesses have already invested in additional cyber protection.
  • 49% of businesses have enhanced the cyber security defences that protect their technology and communications networks.
  • Almost three quarters (72%) have insurance to cover losses caused by malware.
  • 44% of firms only have basic levels of cyber security protection in place.
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