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Navigating Cybersecurity Pitfalls for Business Growth in the UK.

May 5, 2017

 

From the Cisco 2017 Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, here’s a list of how cybersecurity challenges are affecting UK companies

 

As a result of stronger and smarter cyber attacks, the issues facing us are clear – but so are the solutions

 

 

 

The majority of UK companies ‘strongly agree’ that it is easy to determine the scope of a compromise, contain it, and remediate it from exploits.

Because a lot of modern cyber criminals use ‘brokers’ to avoid detection, the newest types of cyber attacks are difficult to find, and can remain in networks for long periods of time. If it is “easy”, then why are UK company breaches so severe – and leading to significant downtime? The contradiction between the rate and severity of breaches, and the UK confidence in security posture, suggests that our confidence is very much misplaced. And of course denial itself is an inhibitor to increased security effectiveness. Read more about how you can see more threats.

 

45% of UK organisations reported that a severe breach caused downed systems for more than 8 hours; a much higher percentage than other countries (34%) who reported similar downtime.

There are some possible reasons behind why the UK experiences significantly more downtime than other countries. The UK was an early adopter of IT, so our equipment is naturally older and more in need of regular patching. Also, UK companies receive on average more daily security alerts than other countries, half of which can be investigated. It’s clear that more harmful files are making their way in, without our knowledge. The solution is to increase our visibility in our networks.

 

Nearly 1 in 3 UK organisations reported they see more than 50,000 daily alerts. Comparably, 17% of other European countries reported the same. Only half of these alerts are investigated on average.

In the UK we are seemingly overwhelmed by the amount of security alerts our systems ask us to look at. Most alerts will turn out to be non-harmful, but how can we prioritise them? This is a problem that can be addressed through automated security – an area we’re really focusing on at Cisco. For example – a network security device that can spot an infected computer, and has the network automatically quarantine it so it can’t do any further harm. Automation allows you to see more, and respond faster.

 

UK organisations perceive less organisational risk in advanced persistent threats and the proliferation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) than other countries.

In 2016, we saw a massive increase of smaller bands of cyber criminals and new entrants who vastly expanded their market share. The majority of them were sophisticated and agile, and using advanced techniques to gain access to systems. At the same time, 27% of connected third-party cloud applications (used on multiple devices) introduced by employees in 2016 posed a high security risk. Dealing with the rise of advanced threats and BYOD must be a high priority for UK organisations – and this means making cybersecurity a business issue, rather than just an IT issue.

 

 

39% of UK organisations reported having managed public scrutiny due to a security breach; less than other countries (on average 50% of organisations faced public scrutiny).

There are some possible reasons for this – we may have greater crisis PR strategies in place when suffering a breach, or we aren’t letting on when a data breach has occurred. However, this percentage is likely to rise with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation act (GDPR) in May 2018. This EU law will force organisations to reveal when they’ve suffered a data breach, and they must do so in 72 hours once it has been found. Find out more about GDPR.

 

The majority of UK companies ‘strongly agree’ that it is easy to determine the scope of a compromise, contain it, and remediate it from exploits.

Because a lot of modern cyber criminals use ‘brokers’ to avoid detection, the newest types of cyber attacks are difficult to find, and can remain in networks for long periods of time. If it is “easy”, then why are UK company breaches so severe – and leading to significant downtime? The contradiction between the rate and severity of breaches, and the UK confidence in security posture, suggests that our confidence is very much misplaced. And of course denial itself is an inhibitor to increased security effectiveness. Read more about how you can see more threats.

 

 

 

 

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