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UK organisations remain ill-equipped to deal with cyber-threats

Research from Databarracks suggests that nearly half of UK organisations do not believe they have the in-house talent required to combat existing cyber-security threats

Nearly half of UK organisations feel that they don’t have the in-house skills needed to deal with the current cyber threat landscape, according to research published by Databarracks.

The figures came from Databarrack’s 2016 Data Health Check, and revealed that two thirds of the 350 IT decision makers questioned had been affected by a cyber-threat in the past 12 months, but just 53% of those questioned felt that they had the sufficient cyber-security skills in their team needed to handle the current sophistication of attacks.

“The increase of cyber threats on UK organisations matches exactly what we see day-to-day – just a third of the respondents in our study remained unscathed by an attack in the last 12 months,” said Oscar Arean, technical operations manager at Databarracks. “Reassuringly though, the number of people looking to improve their security policies is increasing year on year, with a third of respondents in 2016 admitting they had reviewed policies and made changes following an attack, as opposed to 29 per cent in 2014.”

“I was not surprised to see the number of organisations with concerns about internal cyber security skills, especially in light of the government’s findings from last year,” continued Arean.

In November of last year, the government added ‘cyber-security socialist’ to the official skills shortage list. The list recognises occupations which the Migration Advisory Committee believes to be in shortage, and which the government has agreed that Tier 2 work permits can be obtained for, without the need for a further tests. This means that companies do not need to advertise jobs within the EU for 28 days before hiring outside.

According to the report, over half of respondents have invested in safeguards to protect against cyber threats in the past 12 months. Ongoing training, cyber threat monitoring solutions, and improvement of policies were the most common investments.

“This is a definite step in the right direction, but it seems that current resilience planning is mostly inward-looking at this point, as only 5 per cent of respondents had invested in a certification to a cyber security framework,” Arean said. “Considering confidence in in-house skills is so low, it’s likely we’ll see an increase in adoption of security frameworks in the coming years.”

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