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A Europe-wide survey of almost 600 successful businesses reveals that 61 percent of business leaders on the board of their company believe that in the war against cybercrime the hackers are more sophisticated than the software developers.

The study carried out for global network RSM by the European Business Awards also finds that 60 percent of these board members believe they may have been breached without them knowing and 73 percent consider themselves at risk from cybercrime.

Only 31 percent believe their security strategy will protect them from a cyberattack and, worryingly, 21 percent say they have no cybersecurity plan in place at all.

Gregor Strobl, head of technology and cyber risk assurance at RSM Germany says:

When it comes to cybersecurity, the lack of confidence from businesses is understandable because the reality today is that the threats are greater than protection, the hacker is always two steps ahead.

Not only are there more hackers, but we have seen a move towards syndicates where criminal organizations across the globe are joining forces, often working together via the dark web quite often geopolitically, making the threat stronger.

However, doing nothing is not an option. It is very worrying that one in five European businesses have no co-ordinated way of tackling cybercrime. Investing in controls to prevent, detect, contain and build reliance can be the difference between a controlled response with little impact, or a public scandal with significant financial loss.

Accoring to the findings there is still a lack of engagement with cybersecurity at senior level too. It is currently only rarely or just occasionally discussed at board level in 54 percent of businesses, leading 65 percent of respondents to say it needs to be discussed more at senior management level.

There are also mixed views on who is ultimately responsible for the businesses’ security, with only 31 percent thinking the responsibility for tackling cybercrime sits with the CEO and 20 percent saying it’s the IT Manager’s job.

Commenting on the report, James Hadley, CEO of cyber skills firm Immersive Labs says:

The results of the survey paint a very dismal picture of European businesses’ confidence in their own cyber security capabilities. It’s a sad realisation that companies think the hackers are better than their own people. But unfortunately it’s not a surprise, considering just how long the industry has neglected the root of the issue: cyber skills. I would urge businesses not to wallow in the thought that hackers have the upper hand and actually do something about it.

Businesses need to have better oversight of what their cyber workforce looks like, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and how to skill them up to fill in the gaps in their defences. The confidence to do this in the face of an increasing threat landscape doesn’t come instantly. IT professionals need to learn exactly how the hackers are learning. It’s only by breaking things, putting them back together and really getting under the skin of the latest threats that individuals and businesses alike will feel better equipped to take on the hackers and succeed.

The full report is available from the RSM site.

Image credit: Elnur_/depositphotos.com





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