UK CEOs believe cyber attacks are inevitable

Four in ten UK CEOs believe it's no longer a case of "if" a cyber attack will happen as it is now an inevitability, according to research from KPMG.

The professional services firm surveyed 150 UK leaders and a further 1,150 CEOs from around the world about their future investment plans and the challenges facing their companies.

The results showed that 39% of UK CEOs believed that they will be targeted by a cyber attack. The percentage was higher globally, with almost half of international CEOs feeling the same way.

Bernard Brown, vice chair at KPMG in the UK, said that the findings show how high up the agenda cybersecurity has become for businesses.

"The seeming inevitability of a cyber attack crosses all borders and has now crossed firmly over the threshold for the board-level discussions," he said.

"Protecting the business from a cyber attack has jumped further up the boardroom agenda and we are seeing businesses making their defences the best they can be."

The survey found that UK business leaders believe that a strong cybersecurity strategy is critical to engendering trust with key stakeholders, with 74% agreeing that cybersecurity is an enabler of trust, compared to 55% of global CEOs.

According to the report, cyber awareness amongst UK leaders is changing, with 39% believing that their organisations are either "very well" or "well" prepared for a future cyber attack.

CEOs also believe that cybersecurity specialists are an effective part of the business with 45% of UK CEOs seeing their value, coming second to data scientists who are seen as being effective by 62% of the CEOs asked.

"It's encouraging to see that CEOs are developing a more mature understanding of what cyber security actually means. They are beginning to ask more awkward and searching questions of their IT teams. What are the challenges that face us specifically, what risks are we carrying, what do we need to be resilient to a cyber-attack?" Brown added.

"Organisations are spending more time planning for worst case scenarios, running simulations and thinking in detail about how they would deal with the uncertainties that arise during a cyber breach."

More and more companies are becoming victims to cybercrime, in recent weeks sports brand and trainer maker Adidas suffered a data breach and could have potentially exposed the personal details of millions of its customers.

Picture: Shutterstock

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.