Cybersecurity incidents among SMEs explode over 12-month period

A worrying increase in cyber threats reveals problem is greater in the UK than the rest of the world.

The number of cybersecurity threats for UK companies increased by 69 per cent in the past year, research finds.

The figure, released in a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, compares to a global increase of just 25 per cent.

However, UK companies are taking cybersecurity more seriously, with the number of companies that have adopted an overall information security strategy increasing by 17.5 per cent.

While almost 64 per cent of security professionals in the UK report directly to the board or CEO, only 54 per cent of European organisations do the same.

Despite this statistic, more than 16 per cent of UK businesses do not know how many security incidents they have had in the last year. Also, 24 per cent see the top level of leadership as the biggest obstacle to improving the overall effectiveness of the security function.

Nearly a quarter do not think there is a senior executive who proactively communicates the importance of information security.

UK respondents say the top three obstacles to improving security are: insufficient capital funding, a lack of leadership from the CEO or board, and a lack of vision on how future business needs will impact security.

Grant Waterfall, cybersecurity partner at PwC says, ‘As cyber threats evolve, it is critical that organisations rethink their security strategy so that it is integrated with business needs and strategies and is prioritised by top executives.

‘Collaboration with others to improve security has become a key way to gain knowledge of dynamic threats and vulnerabilities.’

Globally, the survey reports that smartphones, tablets, the ‘bring your own device’ trend, and the increased use of cloud computing have elevated security risks.

This said, efforts to implement mobile security programmes do not show significant gains over last year and continue to trail the increasing use of mobile devices.

While 47 per cent of respondents use cloud computing and, among those who do, 59 per cent say security has improved, only 18 per cent include provisions for cloud in their security policy.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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