Half of businesses lacking intelligence to defend against cyber attacks

According to a new study, 54 per cent of businesses lack the knowledge and intelligence required to protect against possible cyber attacks.

The research, conducted by Symantec and Deloitte, surveyed 500 UK IT decision makers in companies with over 250 employees.

Six in ten participants said they do not believe their organisation has suffered a cyber attack despite evidence to the contrary and 49 per cent admitted to failing to treat corporate IP, customer, employee and financial information as completely confidential.

Nearly half of respondents revealed they hadn't considered installing security software and other simple procedures as a necessity, while just a third saw regular training of employees as necessary.

Symantec and Deloitte claim that is could leave businesses wide open to the consequences of an attack, such as loss of revenue and intellectual property, as well as damage to external reputation.

“Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network has identified a 91 per cent increase in targeted attacks and 62 per cent increase in data breaches in 2013 over the previous year,” claimed Sian John, chief security strategist, EMEA, at the firm.

“Cyber criminals have stepped up their game in the past year, yet businesses have not. This latest survey demonstrates there is still a huge gap in security intelligence and understanding by IT manager on how to combat malware and cyber attacks.

“Senior management need to be more engaged and develop a strategic security approach to prevent the organisation from being exposed with a potential for significant loss,” John added.

More Proactivity Needed

Those surveyed said that less than half of employees in their business know how important information protection is.

However, 55 per cent of participants rely on external influences, for example legislative changes, to drive information security policy decisions.

“The threat from sophisticated cyber threats continues to increase, along with the repercussions of a breach,” claimed Andy Ng, director and information protection lead, cyber risk services at Deloitte.

“It is essential that organisations become proactive and resilient in protecting their business,” Ng added.

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