UK businesses are being targeted more frequently by hackers than their global counterparts, according to a new cyber resilience report.
According to the data, almost one in five attempted targeted cyberattacks in the UK successfully breach security in comparison with the average of one in ten globally.
The State of Cyber Resilience Report is based on research among 4,644 business executives and aims to help organisations to innovate securely and build cyber resilience within organisations.
Data revealed that whilst UK businesses are able to spot security breaches in less than a day compared to the global average (46% vs. 34%), there are clear vulnerabilities that continue to make them more susceptible to attack.
The report states that 38% of security breaches in the UK are a result of indirect attacks through the partner ecosystem, however, the approach of UK businesses appears less collaborative than global peers.
Only four in 10 British companies collaborate with strategic partners to test their cybersecurity resilience compared to almost half globally. They are also less likely to share knowledge of threats with strategic partners (44% vs. 48%) and the security community within an industry (39% vs. 46%).
Marshal Luusa, Accenture Scotland’s Security Practice lead, however, says that Scotland’s natural tendency to collaborate across public and private sectors creates an “opportunity for the Scottish tech sector.”
Luusa said: “Our research has uncovered some fundamental vulnerabilities still plaguing UK organisations. Trying to solve problems in isolation, particularly as businesses attempt to tackle the mounting pressures on their security teams as a result of the pandemic, further increases the risk.
“However, Scotland has the chance to buck this trend, and we should take encouragement from this. Already, we see an increase in the call for collaboration through ScotlandIS and the Scottish cyber cluster ‘meetup’, as well as the cybersecurity benchmarking that is taking place.
“The willingness amongst businesses to share information and construct security solutions across organisations and industry bodies in the region gives Scotland an opportunity to set a strong example.”
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The report comes as businesses remain under increased pressure to support more digital environments due to Covid-19, with malicious threat actors taking advantage as organisations reconfigure their supply chains, offer more digital experiences, and meet the demands of a remote workforce.
According to Accenture iDefense, in May more than 16,000 coronavirus-related domains had been registered since January 2020, which are reportedly 50% more likely to be fraudulent than others. However, this has led to new opportunities to deliver much-needed change to the security space.
Luusa said: “In particular, our research highlights the need to increase investment for operational speed, and prioritising technology that focuses on faster detection, response and recovery.
“With only 43% of UK companies scaling new security tools across their business, compared to 51% globally, there is also a need to drive value from new technology investments by scaling, training and collaborating more. Finally, businesses must maintain or supplement existing investments to perform better at the ‘basics’.”
He added: “Figures show that £200 million was invested in Scotland’s tech sector last year, which in turn means a growing need to increase security investments. That demand will drive the dynamic development of new solutions and Scotland is well-placed with a depth of tech talent and cybersecurity players.
“With a consistent and proactive approach to stop attacks occurring in the first place, by investing in the right way, collaborating more and training harder, there is a great deal that Scotland can achieve.”