UK lagging behind US & Brazil in cyber security

Cyber security

UK firms are lagging behind their overseas counterparts when it comes to cyber security readiness, according to BT.

The telco enlisted the help of research team Vanson Bourne to investigate the attitudes of IT decision makers to cyber security in seven countries. These included the UK, France, Germany, USA, Brazil, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Over the course of the research, 500 interviews were carried out, with all the respondents coming from medium-to-large organisations.

The results put the UK bottom of the list when it comes to treating cyber security as a priority, with just 17 per cent of respondents citing it as a major concern for their business.

Brazil topped the list, with 52 per cent of IT decision makers saying they consider cyber security to be a major priority, followed by the US (41 per cent) and Singapore (34 per cent).

In the UK, non-malicious insider threats, whereby individuals accidentally lose data, were considered to be the biggest security threat for 60 per cent of respondents. This was followed by malicious insider threats (51 per cent), hacktivism (37 per cent), organised crime (32 per cent), nation states (15 per cent) and terrorism (12 per cent).

The percentage of respondents who see non-malicious threats as a severe danger to their business is markedly higher in the US, at 85 per cent. In fact, the country scored nothing lower than 70 per cent for any of the aforementioned threats.

Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security, suggests the UK could learn a thing or two from its American cousins when it comes to cyber security.

"US businesses should be celebrated for putting cyber security on the front foot. The risks to business are moving too fast for a purely reactive security approach to be successful. Nor should cyber security be seen as an issue for the IT department alone," he stated.

"As the threat landscape continues to evolve, CEOs and board level executives need to invest in cyber security and educate their people in the IT department and beyond. The stakes are too high for cyber security to be pushed to the bottom of the pile."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.