Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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UK companies must do more to tackle cyber threat

by Steve Beasant on 26 November, 2013

The UK’s top companies are not considering cyber risks in their decision making, a new survey has revealed.

The UK’s top companies are not considering cyber risks in their decision making, a new survey from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has revealed.

The survey of FTSE 350 firms showed only 14% are regularly considering cyber threats, with a significant number not receiving any intelligence about cyber criminals.

However 62% of companies think their board members are taking the cyber risk very seriously, and 60% understand what their key information and data assets are.

David Willetts, Science Minister, said:

“The cyber crime threat facing UK companies is increasing. Many are already taking this extremely seriously, but more still needs to be done.

“We are working with businesses to encourage them to make cyber security a board-level responsibility.”

To tackle the growing threat the government is working with industry to develop an official ‘cyber standard’ which will help stimulate the adoption of good cyber practices among business.

Backed by industry, the kitemark-style standard will be launched early next year, as part of the £860 million cross-government National Cyber Security Programme.

Mr Willetts added:

“The cyber standard will promote excellence in tackling cyber risks, help businesses better understand how to protect themselves, and ultimately increase the nation’s collective cyber security.”

BIS’s cyber governance health check was sent to the chairs of the audit committee of the FTSE 350 companies in August 2013 via the 6 largest audit firms.

Each company which completed the survey will be offered follow-up advice from 1 of the firms, based on their responses.

The anonymous results, published today by BIS, also show:

  • 25% of companies considered cyber a top risk
  • 39% had used the government’s 10 steps cyber security guidance
  • 56% have cyber on the risk register
  • 17% have clearly set what they see as an acceptable level of cyber risk
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