Data theft and viruses striking fears in UK's bosses' hearts

UK’s business leaders consider data theft and viruses the two biggest threats to their business, new research by Beaming said. These fears are backed by information regarding the cost of the two incidents.

Security breaches had cost UK companies £34.1 billion last year, the cost for handling malware was £7.5 billion, while the cost of data theft incidents was £6.2 billion.

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) have insured themselves in cause of malware-induced losses, but when it comes to protection, the figures are not really that good. Half (49 per cent) of businesses have enhanced cyber-security defences, while 44 per cent only have basic levels of protection.

Less than a fifth (18 per cent) said they were ‘highly concerned’ by data theft, and had invested in extensive hacker combating measures.

“The cost of cyber security breaches to businesses is tremendous, and that isn’t just the £34bn it took to deal with them last year either. No, the cost can have a much longer term impact to a business’s reputation as well as their bottom line. Although it is a positive sign that three quarters of companies are insured against losses caused by malware, it is incredibly worrying that 44% still have inadequate means to mitigate against and minimise these threats," says Phil Smith, Head of Product at Smoothwall.

“There is no excuse in this digital age to not have a robust security plan and system in place. Companies need to hit home with their employees and ensure they are educated to the risks and know what security measures the company has in place as the majority of security breaches are a result of human error. Companies need to instil an airtight security culture through the workforce to ensure staff are constantly vigilant and aware of the threats. However, people can still make mistakes, therefore it is essential to have enterprise grade security solutions in place beginning with firewalls, encryption and good security software. If companies have those measures in place and continue to layer on top of that, then it will reduce the chances of a data breach or attack."

“It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that they are not putting the company’s sector at risk, and so that it is taken seriously at all points, ensuring that all employees understand the risks of their actions and know the security processes in place should an incident occur to mitigate the risks, otherwise not only will this have severe financial repercussions, but runs the risk of damaging a company’s reputation.”

Seven per cent of businesses admitted to have been attacked by hackers last year. The average cost of such an attack was £16,264.

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