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Juniper Research has released a report into the business attitudes towards and experiences of cyber security and cyber attacks in SMEs and enterprises. The research revealed that three quarters of companies feel they are currently secure, even though half of those businesses also reported having previously experienced a cyber attack. 

Increasingly, businesses are moving critical infrastructure online, making them more vulnerable to digital threats. Yet, the study found that despite increased concern and spend on cyber security over the last year, there is ‘a high degree of complacency’, with few common practices in response to this threat.

Overall, 86 percent of respondents believe they are doing enough to mitigate the impact of cyber attacks. Most respondents still think it’s enough to have the IT or security department involved in mitigating the effect of cyber attacks, with 33 percent considering the IT department solely responsible for handling security threats. In addition, almost two thirds of respondents stated that cyber security is not their department’s responsibility. And while over three quarters of businesses have a board that is involved in assessing cyber security preparedness, only one quarter have a dedicated security executive. 

While 87 percent of businesses reported having some form of business continuity plan in place, fewer than half of businesses have secure practice guidelines to ensure employees know how to keep the business safe. In fact, Juniper’s report found that one of the biggest problems when it comes to cyber security in British businesses is not that there are no measures in place, but that they are inconsistently applied, and not reinforced. Nearly 90 percent of respondents reported having a plan in place for when a data breach occurs, but 52 percent of businesses still do not have any secure practice guidelines. Actions that businesses are taking to mitigate the impact of a cyber attack include:

  • 48 percent have secure practice guidelines
  • 47 percent give secure practice induction briefings
  • 25 percent have a dedicated security executive
  • 27 percent conduct penetration tests to assess the likelihood of an attack
  • 31 percent monitor emails for phishing attempts.

While 69 percent of respondents would contact someone immediately in the event they discovered a cyber breach, 18 percent would wait until the next working day if they did not consider it a big problem, including 38 percent of founders and 27 percent of all board-level respondents. 

Windsor Holden, Head of Forecasting & Consultancy at Juniper Research, comments: “Cyber security is a big concern for businesses of all sizes, as an attack could cost millions of pounds in lost data, reputation, time and customers. Yet, our study shows that businesses believe they are far more secure than they really are.”

The research was conducted by Vanson Bourne which surveyed 200 British businesses. A full copy of the Juniper Research report can be downloaded here.


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