Significant number of businesses still not investing enough in cyber security

Hayes Connor SolicitorsBy Legal Futures’ Associate Hayes Connor Solicitors

A recently published government report has revealed that while cyber security is increasingly recognised as high risk to businesses, significant cyber security gaps remain.

The FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check 2018 report found that 72 per cent of organisations rated cyber threats as a high business risk, up from 54 per cent the previous year.

Despite heightened awareness of the potential threat however, less than half (46 per cent) had a dedicated cyber security budget. A significant 77 per cent did not recognise the risk of a cyber-attack within their full supply chain and less than half (46 per cent) rated their board as having a comprehensive understanding of critical information, data assets and systems.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cyber security specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “GDPR appears to have had a positive effect with the report finding that in the advent of the new rules, engagement with cyber security at board level had increased. The report has however, exposed surprising gaps in the cyber security defences within large organisations with more investment needed to secure the personal data held by them.

“It is particularly concerning that nearly four-fifths of FTSE 350 businesses still do not fully appreciate the potential threat of a cyber attack within their supply chain. We are currently representing more than 650 claimants following the serious Ticketmaster data breach last year which involved cyber criminals using malicious software to target one of the ticketing giant’s third-party suppliers.

“Our clients are at risk of fraud and identity theft following the breach with some having already suffered multiple financial losses and others also experiencing psychological distress as a result. We have recently escalated the action to the High Court and while the data breach occurred at a third-party supplier level, it is Ticketmaster that we are holding accountable.

“As information and processes are increasingly digitised, cyber criminals are also ever more sophisticated in their tactics and methods to exploit cyber security weaknesses. It is essential that organisations of all sizes fully protect their business and customers by ensuring that robust measures are implemented by all parties throughout the supply chain.

“Investing in preventative measures will be far less costly than having to deal with the consequences of a data breach which will involve serious reputational damage alongside fines and compensation payouts.”

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