Research suggests C-Suite “in the dark” over cyber security threats
Understanding cyber security threats is a business-critical issue and needs to be a focus across an entire company, from the boardroom to the “shop floor”.
But new research has suggested that directors and executives (the c-suite) within UK small businesses are suffering from a disconnect when it comes to the current cyber security threats their company is facing.
Many are severely underestimating the level of risk.
This is particularly true when it comes to the current cyber threats caused by modern work practices like mobile and flexible working, or “Bring Your Own Device”.
According to the “Under Attack: Assessing the struggle of UK SMBs against cyber criminals” report commissioned by Appstractor, 25% of owners and MDs within small companies are concerned that flexible work policies they have introduced have made their company more vulnerable to current cyber threats.
But this is in stark contrast to the 54% majority of managers who think their company’s data is now more at risk.
The importance of training staff members on the risk from current cyber threats is also an area where there is a disconnect between those at the top of a business and those who deal with the day-to-day work.
While 28% of bosses and senior directors think they need to provide more training, 63% of managers think their staff should be given more training when it comes to identifying current cyber threats – like phishing emails or fake networks – and avoiding becoming a victim.
Falling victim to a cyber attack is not only potentially damaging financially for a business – GDPR fines can reach as high as 4% of global annual turnover in the worst cases – but the greatest threat is arguably from the reputational damage that comes with being associated with a cyber breach.
Particularly for small businesses which require sensitive client information to do their jobs – like accountants or law firms – not having trust when it comes to storing this information properly and keeping it secure can mean the end for a company.
But for a business to fully come to grips with protecting itself from attack it needs to get buy-in from every level of the business, which is why the findings in this research are so worrying.
If c-suite executives are as in the dark over the risk from current cyber threats as they appear to be, their company stands little chance of surviving in the long term – especially considering our research finding that small businesses faced an average of five attacks in the last year.
The risk from current cyber threats is clear and present across all businesses and all sizes, and it requires a full-scale overhaul of attitudes for the UK’s small business community to get through the onslaught it is currently facing.
For advice on how to protect your business from current cyber threats, check out our “How to overcome the challenges associated with SMB cyber security” blog.
To download the complete “Under Attack: Assessing the struggle of UK SMBs against cyber criminals” report, click here or click the button below:
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