Cyber threats: they are real, rising and affecting you

29 April 2014

As technology becomes ever more sophisticated, cyber attacks are becoming ever more complex, with barely a week going by without new reports of a serious attack or data breach. In the latest World Economic Forum Global Risk Report, cyber threats were rated as one of the top five global risks.

But cyber security is not just an issue for governments and FTSE 100 companies, cyber attacks can affect every business, however large or small.

According to last year’s Information Breaches Survey conducted by PwC for the Department of Business Innovation & Skills:

  • 93% of large businesses had a security breach in the last year;
  • 87% of SMEs had a security breach in the last year;
  • Only 14% of large organisations know that outsiders have stolen confidential data and;
  • And only 9% of small organisations know that outsiders have stolen confidential data.

In large organisations there can often be a lack of understanding of cyber threats amongst senior management and too much reliance on technology. While many SMEs have a false sense of security and that they are not important enough to be a target.

What is more alarming is that the majority of organisations are not aware whether their corporate networks have been subject to a breach or data theft.

How can you secure your business?

Addressing the cyber security risk involves more than just installing an antivirus solution or a firewall. Organisations should look at the people and process side of information security as well, rather than just focusing on the technical side.

Companies need to identify their most valuable information assets; ones that if stolen, compromised or used inappropriately, could have severe impact either as financial loss or reputational damage. Or in some cases could significantly disrupt operations or even threaten a company’s very existence.

A cyber security strategy or plan should be devised by all organisations. This should be undertaken by senior management so that information security risks to critical corporate information are appropriately identified and managed. This would then help organisations understand their security capabilities to ensure that the right resources: technical, physical, processes and human capital are in place to safeguard them against cyber threats.

For more information contact Mark Stock by Email: mark.l.stock@uk.pwc.com or on Tel: 07730 146578.

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