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UK firms are too confident about their cybersecurity

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Despite the growth in data breaches, senior executives at UK firms think their cybersecurity protection is top-notch, according to a new survey conducted by research and consultancy firm Ovum for Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO. Three out of four executives from UK firms said their firm was better prepared than their competitors, and 43 percent said their firm was a top performer. While this overconfidence was seen across the eight regions surveyed, Canada was the only country where more respondents (44 percent) said they were a top performer for cybersecurity protection.

Key highlights:

  • 75 percent of UK firms surveyed said they are better prepared for data breaches than their competitors — up from 60 percent last year
  • Of eight regions surveyed, only Canadians were more likely to rate their firm a top performer for cybersecurity
  • Financial services respondents were least realistic, with 96 percent rating their firms above average or top performers
  • Retail and e-commerce respondents were most realistic, with 57 percent rating their firms above average or top performers
  • Ovum conducted telephone surveys for FICO of security executives at 500 companies in the UK and 10 other countries

Among British industries, financial services firms were the most confident of all —55 percent said their firm was a top performer, and 41 percent said their firm was above average. Telecommunications providers were second, with 42 percent calling their firm a top performer. The least confident — or most realistic — respondents were in retail and ecommerce, where 38 percent said their firm is a top performer, and just 19 percent said they were above average.

Despite this confidence, only 36 percent of organisations are carrying out more than a point-in-time assessment of what their cybersecurity risk is.

“The grave risk posed to our privacy and security demands that firms take an honest view of their protection,” said Steve Hadaway, FICO general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “These numbers suggest that many firms just don’t understand how they compare to their competitors, and that could lead to a lack of investment. When we review firms’ cybersecurity risk with our FICO Enterprise Security Score, I can tell you that most firms are not above average.”

“IT leaders have greater funding than ever to protect organisations from the continuously evolving threat landscape and meet complex compliance demands,” said Maxine Holt, research director at Ovum. “These same IT leaders are undoubtedly keen to believe that the money being spent provides their organisation with a better security posture than any other – but the rapid pace of investment, often in point solutions, rarely takes an organisation-wide view of security.”



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