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December 12, 2017updated 12 Jul 2022 4:20am

1 in 4 UK business leaders lack basic cybersecurity understanding

With GDPR on the horizon there is no excuse for such a widepread lack of cybersecurity awareness among UK business leaders.

By Tom Ball

A shocking revelation of cybersecurity ignorance among UK business leaders has shown that as many as a quarter do not understand common cyberattacks.

Ransomware and phishing are among basic attack variants that UK business leaders are in the dark about, proving that even major, global data breaches are not enough to capture the attention of all.

Spending has been increasing across the board as organisations pursue digital transformation, but this has not prompted UK business leaders to learn more about the risks involved.

This finding was made by CA Veracode, with the cybersecurity company also finding that just 50 per cent of business leaders surveyed are aware of the risk posed by software.

Chris Wysopal, CTO, CA Veracode, said: “Digital transformation presents both massive opportunity to innovate and significant security risks, with 77 percent of applications having at least one vulnerability when first scanned, which could be exploited to inject ransomware or steal data.”

Further giving perspective to the massive awareness shortcomings, the study found that only a third of business leaders knew of the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack that had a global impact and gained mainstream media attention globally.

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“Many business leaders have yet to fully grasp the most common cyber threats to their business, nor are they keeping up with some of the most catastrophic cyber events of our time. We need to bridge this disconnect between business leaders and the cybersecurity threat: without greater awareness of the threats and what is needed to defend against them, their company could easily be the next headline,” Wysopal said.

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Going forward the picture painted by the CA Veracode study does not improve, with a third of business leaders presenting no plans for enhancing their organisation’s cybersecurity in the coming year.

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