Some 94 per cent of UK firms say they are well protected from a targeted attack on their systems, despite most believing that cyber criminals are innovating at a faster pace than businesses, according to BAE Systems.
The defence contractor’s Detica cyber security division revealed in its first annual Cyber Security Monitor report that 82 per cent of firms believe that cyber criminals are innovating faster than they can.
More worryingly, when asked what specialist solutions they have in place to combat a targeted attack, they listed the traditional tools: firewall (39 per cent), anti-virus (22 per cent), and email scan and web filter (both 17 per cent).
“Such a high degree of confidence in existing defence systems is surprising. It suggests that the reality and impact of the threat are not visible to business or that attacks are already happening ‘below the radar’ of their traditional defences,” the report argued.
“The assumption appears to be that ‘it won’t happen to me’. However, the reality is that cyber attacks are prevalent, and they are passing through traditional defences that people have been led to believe will protect them.”
Loss of customer information and damage to reputation topped the list of greatest concerns about the consequences of successful cyber attacks, but just 18 per cent thought theft of IP and related data was a worry.
However, awareness levels among UK firms appear to be rising, with a third saying that they were at risk of state-sponsored hacking, while most also seem to appreciate that employees represent as great a cyber security risk as criminal groups.
The boardroom still appears to be in the dark over much of the security function’s work and how it supports the business, however, the report found.
Just over half said they had requested visibility of the organisation’s IT security plan, but only a quarter had requested information relating to a targeted cyber attack on the IT network.
“Given the importance of IT security to all organisations, it is surprising that so many boards allow themselves to remain in the dark on the overall security plan,” the report concluded.
“It also seems clear that boards are not aware of the threat to their businesses from targeted cyber threats – otherwise they would almost certainly request information in order to fulfill their governance requirements.”
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