Organisations still failing to protect against cyber attacks, survey reveals

Charities are being encouraged to check they have adequate cyber security protection after a survey found that 26% of British organisations have left themselves open to cyber attacks

| 22nd Nov 16

Charities are being encouraged to check they have adequate cyber security protection after a survey found that 26% of British organisations have left themselves open to cyber attacks.

The independent research carried out by Advanced, the UK’s third largest software and services provider, also revealed that nearly half (46%) claim that data security is not a deciding factor in adopting digital technology. This is despite recent government research into cyber security which found that two thirds of large organisations experienced a cyber breach or attack in the past year.

The survey aimed to identify the state of readiness amongst British organisations in the face of serious digital disruption, while highlighting the ingredients needed to compete and be successful in this era. As well as revealing serious gaps in preparing for a cyber attack, the survey also highlighted three key trends around the state of business readiness: economic, digital and customer.

This indicates organisations could be ill-equipped for the turbulence being experienced now and ahead, arguably distracted by issues not within their control.


Leadership readiness

The state of readiness amongst industry leaders came under the spotlight in the survey. Respondents were asked to rank the most important attributes of a leader:

  • Just 45% chose a ‘strong digital skillset’
  • A ‘digital first vision’ lagged behind, identified by only one third

The three leading responses were:

  • 86% stated an ability to reimagine and adapt its business
  • 71% chose ‘act with pace’
  • 61% picked ‘take bold decisions’


Customer readiness

The pressure of digital change was revealed when looking at how organisations are handling their customers, with the results revealing a lack of understanding of the customer in the digital era:

  • Two-thirds of those organisations surveyed (67%) admitting to feeling pressure from customers to deliver a more digital face to their service via social media
  • Incredibly, under half of respondents (45%) have used social media to innovate in the way they interact with customers
  • One third of organisations don’t know whether social media has enabled them to improve their customer interactions, or whether their customers use social media to complain
  • Although 93% believe a connected digital infrastructure is important to anticipate and service customer needs, 55% believe their IT infrastructure limits their ability to respond quickly to customer issues


Britain’s overall digital readiness

Organisations are worryingly unprepared for the implications of digital disruption with an incredible 85% of those in the public sector believing the government has not provided enough budget to successfully implement its digital agenda.

In addition, 30% do not have access to real-time information, although 84% believe that such information allows for faster, more informed decision making and 70% believe automation of manual tasks would free up valuable time to focus on value added services.

Commenting of the findings, Tom Thackray, CBI Director for Innovation, said: “Digital innovation presents a huge opportunity for companies and our economy, but it also goes hand-in-hand with a need for greater emphasis on cyber security.

“Cyber resilience is a growing priority for all organisations, and the challenge now is to move from awareness to action. It’s important that organisations in all sectors truly understand digital technology’s potential, from the boardroom to the shop or factory floor. By making the right investments for their digital future and ensuring cyber security is a board level priority, they have the opportunity to make the UK a global beacon for digital and technological skills.

“As a society, we’ve seen a seismic shift in gear in the security space in the past year; which is affecting every citizen of the UK. These issues are no longer reserved for ‘tech geeks’, every organisation and individual must now keep up with the significant problems arising from organised digital crime.”

The Advanced 2016 inaugural Trends Report surveyed a total of 1,006 professionals during September and October 2016. A full report outlining all findings is available on request/to download from the Advanced website.

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