Most businesses value cyber security as a way to promote growth and build better relationships with customers, a survey has found.
The Cyber Security Research report, conducted by Vodafone, interviewed 1,434 decision-makers in cyber security worldwide.
According to the data, 73% of the respondents believed strong security creates new business opportunities, and 89% said improvements to their security would increase customer loyalty and trust.
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Andrzej Kawalec, group head of enterprise cyber security strategy and innovation at Vodafone, said the report shows that cyber security is not just about protective measures or preventing attacks. He said customer loyalty and business opportunity statistics are not IT or security metrics, but “top-line business outcomes”.
However, the findings also suggested some confusion among companies about how to get cyber security advice. Some 41% of the businesses said they were unsure who could help them with their security challenges, while 60% of small businesses said they felt uninformed about security.
Kawalec said the report showed “a positive, future-leaning perspective” from businesses about cyber security, but also highlighted that it is still a hard challenge for some.
“A very high percentage of organisations were unsure about who to turn to for cyber security advice and support,” he said. “That’s because a lot of the security industry has been complex and difficult to penetrate. It’s been expert to expert and really not aimed at delivering a clear and simple service or outcome for people.”
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The report findings also showed a difference between younger and older decision-makers in terms of worrying about critical data loss – 51% of those aged 35 and over said they had a fear of data loss, compared with 40% of the 18-34 age group.
Kawalec said the younger group are more prepared for the thought of data loss. “You need to be constantly cyber ready, constantly resilient to multiple attacks and ongoing digital uncertainty and operate in that regard, and that’s why the current and future business leaders, the under-35 age group, recognise that,” he said.
“They recognise the risks that come with a digital world and they are comfortable dealing with that and are less paralysed by it.”
Other findings from the survey showed that 78% of businesses believed cyber security is of “high strategic importance” and 87% expected their company’s security budget to increase in the next three years.