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UK businesses slow to identify security breaches

UK businesses are much slower than those of other countries when it comes to identifying security breaches, according to new research from the information security firm Clearswift. On average, companies in the UK need a total of nine hours to identify a breach.

Response time in other countries is significantly lower with Australian companies being able to identify security threats within five hours, US companies being able to do so in seven hours, and German companies taking eight hours. The additional time it takes UK businesses to respond could enable an attacker to remove an additional 280,000 documents from a company's system.

Clearswift employed the technology research firm Loudhouse to survey 500 security professionals and 4,000 employees to come to these results. Of those surveyed, 14 per cent believe that their companies will only take cyber security seriously once a breach has occurred and that few proactive steps are taken to prevent breaches internally.

The slow response times of UK companies is quite alarming given the increase in high profile security breaches this year. However, Clearswift has released a list of five top tips to help spot unusual activity on a company's network along with a holiday game called Regional Risky Business Christmas Challenge (opens in new tab), which tasks players with exploring an office environment and trying to identify potential insider threat sources as quickly as possible in a given time.

Clearswift's top tips include forming a baseline, taking the necessary time to investigate a breach to avoid blaming the victim of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) as opposed to its perpetrator, using Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) solutions to monitor a network, having a company wide plan in place to deal with security incidents, and acting proactively to discover threats to the network before they become critical.

Businesses in the UK need to understand the risks of security breaches and treat them with the seriousness they deserve in order to lower the response time to security threats and to become less vulnerable to would be attackers.

Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.