UK organisations suffered the most breaches in Europe, research reveals

30 May 2018

| Author: Jay Jay

UK organisations suffered the most breaches among all organisations across Europe in 2017, with 37 percent of them suffering at least one incident of data breach, new research has revealed.

UK organisations the hardest hit

Thales eSecurity’s latest Data Threat Report on European organisations has revealed that organisations based in the UK were the hardest hit last year, followed by those in Germany and Sweden whereas organisations in the Netherlands suffered the fewest data breach incidents, even though 27 percent of organisations in the country were breached last year.

Despite leading the flock in terms of breach incidents, only 31 percent of organisations in the UK feel ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ vulnerable to data threats compared to 49 percent of organisations in the Netherlands and 36 perent of organisations in Germany.

At the same time, organisations in the UK aren’t quite in the race when it comes to increasing cyber security budgets to ward off future data threats. While 76 percent of organisations in Germany and 75 percent of organisations in Sweden have increased their cyber security spending in the last year, only 68 percent or those in the UK did so in the period.

“Although 70 per cent of organisations across Sweden remain untouched by data breaches, the country reported the steepest increase in budgets for IT security, with 39 per cent reporting them to be ‘much higher’ and a further 36 per cent ‘somewhat higher’. In contrast, just 15 per cent of British businesses claimed their spending to be ‘much higher’ than the previous year,” Thales eSecurity noted.

Firms interested in securing certain apps and services

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by security firm VMware also revealed that existing cyber security practices at organisations in the UK were far from perfect as security professionals prioritised the security of certain applications and services, thereby leaving other areas exposed to cyber-attacks and malware injections.

Over 70 percent of IT security professionals interviewed by the firm revealed that they were forced to pay disproportionately high attention to the security around e-banking and other applications rather than focussing on all areas of exposure equally.

At the same time, while 9 in 10 of all IT security professionals admitted that they made certain compromises to protect their businesses, thereby leaving other areas exposed, over half of them said that they have had to make such compromises regularly.

Until and unless organisations in the UK take steps to ensure they have 360-degree visibility over all enterprise networks and applications and utilise machine learning and AI to detect and prevent breaches, they will continue to suffer the largest number of breaches in Europe. In order to achieve watertight security, CISOs and IT teams also need to take the initiative and implement the latest cyber security practices.

“While it isn’t a shock that users prioritise productivity and convenience over security, we’ve always assumed the IT security team set the agenda when it comes to protecting IP, customer data, and the network. But it’s clear they are often overruled and executive leadership may not be aware of these competing priorities,” said Ian Pratt, co-founder at Bromium.

“This should not be the case. Security teams should not put in this position. Security is in place to protect a company’s most valuable assets. Having to fight with peers over when it is applied puts a company at significant risk,” he added.


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