In an age of technology, cyber-attacks are becoming more prevalent, more frequent and more threatening than ever before. Now that the majority of institutions, particularly in the financial sector, are opting to transform their operations via new digital channels, automation and other advanced technologies, the dangers to companies are significantly heightened.
With the sudden increase in the frequency and scope of cyber-attacks around the world, new and impending regulations, have already prompted some of the financial sector’s biggest names to review their cybersecurity plans. In a recent Ernst & Young report, Turner Little found that more than half of respondents (53%) say their cyber security budget has increased over the last year.
Cyber security is becoming a number 1 priority for businesses
In 2018, many companies understand that cyber security is a major risk, perhaps even the number one priority; particularly for technology-heavy companies. Cyber risks are constantly changing and are difficult to keep up with, which can be destructive. Unfortunately, no business can completely protect itself from a cyber-attack, but they can implement plans and strategies to help prevent breaches from occurring.
For many companies, customer data is paramount, with a staggering 65% of businesses citing customer personal and identifiable information as the most valuable asset to protect, while 36% cited customer passwords.
Turnerlittle.com found that these were followed by:
- Company financial information – 19.5%
- Corporate strategic plans – 18.4%
- Senior executive/board member personal information – 15.1%
- Information exchanged during M&A activities – 11.5%
- Patented intellectual property (IP) – 10.1%
- R&D information – 9.6%
- Non-patented IP – 8.3%
- Supplier/vendor identifiable information – 4.2%
Turnerlittle.com found, at present, there is a shortage of individuals with the skills and know- how to deal with cyber security threats in business.
Companies must increase cyber security awareness training, whilst instilling an understanding of how cyber risks can impact different roles and individual projects, as well as harming overall businesses (e.g. impacting corporate reputation, business acquisition and client retention).
The ‘cost’ of a cyber breach is more than just money…
Turner Little found that cyber security can be expensive for companies; particularly those that are deemed “small”. According to Gov.uk, the mean spend on cyber security of all businesses in the UK is £4,590, and for large businesses, the mean spend reaches a staggering £387,000.
However, it is worth it in the long run, as Turner Little found that the average cost of breaches to all businesses in the UK reached £1,570 in the last 12 months – and £19,600 for large firms.