Keep Calm and Update Cybersecurity: U.K. Companies Unprepared to Fight Cyberattacks


Cyberattacks and hackers are serious threats for government and companies worldwide. Anyone and everyone could be a target, including technology companies such as Yahoo Inc., the Central Bank of Bangladesh, and fried chicken giant KFC. But are U.K. companies aware of the danger and are they doing something about it?

According to a report by the Institute of Directors (IoD)—U.K.’s longest-running organization for professional leaders—approximately 94 percent of 844 surveyed IoD members said cybersecurity is either very important or quite important for their organizations. However, 37 percent said that their organization didn’t have a formal cybersecurity strategy and 45 percent said their organizations don’t provide cybersecurity awareness training for employees. Furthermore, if their organizations were a victim of online fraud, 40 percent of respondents said they didn’t know who to contact.

These findings of risky behavior are consistent with other studies. The 2016 Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report found that 76 percent of respondents said they know they should actively protect their information online, but still engaged in risky behaviors, including sharing passwords.

The good news is that, according to the IoD survey, 71 percent said they use more than five passwords across different accounts. This means that if one of the account is hacked, it is unlikely that the other accounts will fall, the report said. Hopefully, those passwords aren’t ones that are easy to guess, such as 1-2-3-4-5, which is the most popular password in the U.S. for the fifth straight year.

The IoD report recommended businesses to take “practical steps” to prepare of cybersecurity threats, including running simulations, having regular awareness training, scrutinizing server suppliers and incentivizing employees to spot false emails and phishing attack attempts. 

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