There is a rising concern over the risk of cyber warfare and its affect on the British economy, highlighted by an estimated cost to the country of £27bn a year from attacks on computer systems, industrial espionage and theft of intellectual property. According to last year’s ‘Cost of Cyber Crime’ report the country's business sector is the worst affected, losing £21bn a year in revenue.
As a result, businesses are starting to recognise that targeted attacks are a serious issue not just affecting their bottom line but also their customers, suppliers and employees.
A recent report by Gartner has predicted that the worldwide spend on IT security is in the midst of an 8.4 percent increase, and is expected to continue to rise through 2016. According to the report almost 45 percent of CIOs interviewed anticipated increases to their security budgets, while 50 percent expected their security budgets to remain level.
These results support the observation that businesses are beginning to wake up to the seriousness of cyber attacks... But are they making intelligent security investments in IT?
In order for businesses to protect themselves effectively they need to acknowledge and understand the threat landscape. However, to understand this landscape companies need to initially look within their organisation.
It is instinctive to look outside the business when trying to identify potential security issues, but the harsh reality is that the biggest threat to most organisations is internal.
Staff are unlikely to ever intentionally compromise network security, but there are any number of ways that their accidental behaviour may impact the security systems that have cost so much time and money to put in place. As well as guarding against external attacks such as hackers and viruses, it is essential to understand how employees interact with the IT network and to invest in measures that stop them from putting it at risk.
Bring your own danger
In businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, employees are increasingly bringing their personal mobile devices into work and using them to access corporate data. With this huge shift in how employees are accessing company data, businesses worldwide are in a state of uncertainty around if, and how, to protect their networks against the threats brought about by this influx of mobile devices.
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