Britain’s top firms and charities urgently need to do more to protect themselves from online threats, according to new Government research.
Undertaken in the wake of recent high profile cyber attacks, the survey of the UK’s biggest 350 companies found more than two thirds of boards had not received training to deal with a cyber incident (68 per cent) despite more than half saying cyber threats were a top risk to their business (54 per cent).
One in ten FTSE 350 companies said they operate without a response plan for a cyber incident, while less than a third of boards receive comprehensive cyber risk information.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport says the report highlights the scale of the cyber security and data protection challenge in the UK, with only six per cent of businesses completely prepared for new data protection rules.
However, there has been progress in some areas when compared with last year’s health check, with more than half of company boards now setting out their approach to cyber risks (53 per cent up from 33 per cent) and more than half of businesses having a clear understanding of the impact of a cyber attack (57 per cent up from 49 per cent).
The Government says it is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and a five-year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) was announced in November 2016, supported by £1.9 billion of transformational investment. This includes opening the National Cyber Security Centre and offering free online advice as well as training schemes to help businesses protect themselves.
Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said: “We have world leading businesses and a thriving charity sector but recent cyber attacks have shown the devastating effects of not getting our approach to cyber security right.
“These new reports show we have a long way to go until all our organisations are adopting best practice and I urge all senior executives to work with the National Cyber Security Centre and take up the Government’s advice and training.”
The FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check is carried out in collaboration with the audit community, including Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PWC.