UK businesses lagging behind Germany and France in risk awareness

Business leaders in Germany and France are more aware of digital risks than the ones in the UK, according to new findings.

According to a report from international law firm Gowling WLG, UK respondents identified between two and 25 per cent less risk than their counterparts in France and Germany, for each risk area that was analysed.

For the EU-based respondents, external cyber risks are still the number one issue, followed by risks related to highly sensitive and valuable data (19 per cent in Germany, 18 per cent in France, and 15 per cent in the UK named it ‘very high risk’).

Asking UK-based respondents about GDPR, 14 per cent were aware of the fines, while 86 per cent were ‘unaware’. In Germany, the number sits at 26 per cent, while in France – 45 per cent.

Even when it comes to backing up data, German and French businesses seem to do it better – 66 and 67 per cent respectively, compared to 52 per cent of UK businesses backing up data on a regular basis. 

Exactly half of French businesses use off-site storage. In Germany, it’s 39 per cent, and in the UK – 32 per cent. 

The firm has now released a new tool, named Digital Risk Calculator to allow small and medium size businesses to better understand their digital risks and compare these to other industries.

“The recent wide ranging external cyber-attacks such as the Wannacry and Petya hacks reinforce the real and immediate threat of cyber-crime to all organisations and businesses,” said Helen Davenport, director at Gowling WLG.

“However, there tends to be an “it won’t happen to me” attitude among business leaders, who on one hand anticipate external cyber-attacks will increase over the next three years, but on the other fail to identify such areas of risk as a concern for them. This is likely preventing them from preparing suitably for digital threats that they may face.”

Image source: Shutterstock/AlexLMX