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Large UK firms lacking diligence over cyber security threats

Cyber-Security

The majority of firms in the UK are not taking into account the cyber security of the suppliers and customers they trade with when assessing the cyber threats they are facing, a new study has revealed.

According to a report by insurance broker and risk management firm Marsh, 70 per cent of British companies fail to examine the full supply chain to expose cyber security weaknesses.

Having surveyed risk managers and chief financial officers from more than 100 large and medium-sized business, the research also found that just 11 per cent of organisations have cyber insurance policies.

Another worrying result to emerge from the survey was that more than half (51.4 per cent) of respondents stated their organisations have not been asked to demonstrate a competent standard of their IT security practices to their bank and/or customers to do business with them.

The findings, published in Marsh’s annual ‘Cyber Risk Survey Report’, also uncovered that the number of respondents who believed they had “complete understanding” of their risk exposure had dropped from 34 per cent to just 18 per cent over the last year.

The government’s National Security Strategy ranked cyber security as the country’s number one threat. However, this study suggests that large companies in the UK are failing to take a diligent approach when it comes to understanding and tackling cyber risks, not to mention putting plans in place in case they fall victim of a cyber attack.

Stephen Wares, Marsh EMEA’s cyber risk practice leader, commented on the findings: “If organisations are to reduce the threats arising from cyber-attacks, more work needs to be done to consider cybersecurity as a business issue, as opposed to a technical problem.

“This is especially true for larger organisations, which attract highly motivated and sophisticated hackers that might identify smaller business partners that are typically less well protected as the ‘back-door’ into their IT systems.”

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