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Cyber security gap leaves door open for the channel

Government figures showing that significant numbers of customers are not able to cope with cyber attacks should be a chance for the channel to step in

Usually you have to wait until InfoSec to get the latest insight into just how cyber crime is having an impact on businesses of all sizes but the government has released its own worrying numbers over the weekend.

According to government figures two thirds of large businesses have been hit by a cyber breach in the past year, with many being targeted on a monthly basis.

The vast majority of attacks involved viruses, spyware and malware and many firms are continuing to fail to set out security policies and even less have an incident management plan in place.

The picture that the powers that be paint might be quite bleak but steps are being taken to try to improve the situation with a National Cyber Security Centre being launch in the autumn and £1.9bn being ploughed in to help protect UK plc from criminals.

“The UK is a world-leading digital economy and this Government has made cyber security a top priority. Too many firms are losing money, data and consumer confidence with the vast number of cyber attacks,” said Ed Vaizey, Minister for the digital economy.

“It’s absolutely crucial businesses are secure and can protect data. As a minimum companies should take action by adopting the Cyber Essentials scheme which will help them protect themselves,” he added.

The government has done its own research that found that on the one hand almost half of the top FTSE 350 firms ranked cuber attacks as the biggest threat but on the other hand only a third really understood the risks they were facing.

It is around that mis-match that an opportunity for the channel should emerge as resellers get a chance to help customers improve their defences.

“It is astonishing that half of UK businesses are not tackling the ever growing threat. It is now not about if a cyber attack occurs, but rather, when. In this digital age companies must have a robust security system in place in order to protect themselves once they fall victim to an attack,” said David Navin, head of corporate at Smoothwall.

“It is essential that they start with the basics. Beginning with a firewall, encryption and good security software, if companies have those measures in place and continue to layer on top of that, then it will reduce the chances of a data breach or attack,” he added.

Other vendors were also keen to respond to the government revelations with Rob Lay, customer solutions architect in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu, said the level of attacks was not perhaps a surprise, but the lack of firms tackling the issue was.

“According to Fujitsu’s predictions report, we can expect a growth of DDoS attacks, insider threats and also phishing in the next year, and as such everyone should be doing more to prevent theft,” he said.
“Because of this, it’s vital both consumers and organisations take a proactive approach when it comes to security. Organisations need to focus on the integration of threat intelligence and other information sources to provide the context necessary to deal with today’s advanced cyber threats. There must also be a clear and well-rehearsed incident management plan for a breach, addressing internal and external communication in addition to containment and recovery activities,” he added.

The channel should find that there will be more support coming from the government, which plans to publish a national cyber security strategy later this year setting out plans to improve cyber security for Government, businesses and consumers.

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