UK Gov Accused of Failing Businesses on Cybersecurity

Scottish Government Ferris Slater

Senior IT figures from across the UK claim that the Government fails to offer adequate guidance or support on cybersecurity issues. 

Businesses across the UK say they feel let down by the UK Government’s policies on cyber crime, according to a survey.  

The survey, conducted by Atomik Research and sponsored by RedSeal, contacted more than 500 senior IT professionals.  

Respondents told Atomik that there must be greater support from the Government in an increasingly perilous cybersecurity landscape.  

Growing Concerns 

According to the survey, more than two-thirds (68%) of senior IT figures said their businesses had suffered due to cyber attacks in the past year.  

More than 30% of respondents told the survey that the Government fails to offer businesses adequate guidance, advice or support on cybersecurity issues, despite the growing global threat landscape.  

Ray Rothrock, CEO of RedSeal, said the research underlines a growing concern among business figures over government support on cybersecurity issues – a problem that must be addressed. 

“Our research highlights the fact that senior IT bosses want the UK Government to direct more attention, money and resource to support their businesses in the face of cyber attacks,” he explained. 

This research follows the release of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) second annual review, which highlighted growing threats and concerns.

Speaking at the International Security Expo in November, the deputy director for the National Cyber Security Strategy, Mark Sayers, said there was still a great deal of work ahead for the Government.

Sayers noted that the Strategy was making significant progress, though, and underlined the importance of the NCSC.

The Government’s annual Cyber Security Breaches Survey appears to have acknowledged business concerns, noting that more needs to be done regarding communication and cooperation between industry and government. The report highlighted that only 30% of businesses in the UK have a board member responsible for dealing with cybersecurity.

Planning for the Worst 

The survey also highlights a concerning lack of preparation for cyber attacks among UK businesses. One-in-five (19%) of respondent businesses said they have no plan in place to deal with a cyber attack.  

Additionally, 65% of IT teams recommended that senior management pays better attention to cybersecurity in the year ahead.  

Financial losses for businesses in the past year were also acknowledged in the survey. More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents whose organisation had been attacked in 2018 incurred financial losses.  

37% of organisations told the survey that attacks had caused a loss of customers, while nearly half had suffered damage to their reputation.

Picking up The Cost?

Ian Thornton-Trump, head of cybersecurity at AmTrust International, told DIGIT the report findings are questionable and highlight a concerning lack of responsibility among businesses.

The report findings, he said, are “simply not accurate” and “illustrate the view that good security requires investment and businesses believe Government should be picking up the cost”.

Thronton-Trump believes the UK Government is doing an “immense job”, and is making significant efforts to ensure businesses and consumers are protected.

As with many issues, however, there can always be more done.

He said: “Could it be better? Of course it could always be better, but if those businesses truly think they are being let down, have them open a branch office in China or Russia and see how that goes for them,” he said. “It’s always easier to blame the Government than to take personal responsibility for cybersecurity.



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