New Cloudflare study reveals the extent that UK businesses are at risk from imminent cyberattacks over the next 12 months

New Cloudflare study reveals the extent that UK businesses are at risk from imminent cyberattacks over the next 12 months

The majority (70%) of UK business leaders expect to suffer a cybersecurity incident in the next 12 months, but only 35% of organisations feel well prepared to deal with one. That’s according to new research from leading connectivity cloud company Cloudflare, Inc..

The research, conducted with over 4,000 business and technology leaders across Europe and 430 in the UK, found that almost half (48%) of UK organisations have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident in the last 12 months, making it the most targeted country in Europe — higher than Germany (42%), France (31%) and Italy (25%).

The majority (80%) of UK business leaders said the number of cyber incidents has increased in the last 12 months. And a worrying 60% anticipate a further increase over the next 12 months, with one in 10 (11%) expecting the number of incidents to “increase significantly”.

The Cloudflare data confirms that industries that had experienced more attacks, such as the IT and technology sector, felt more prepared for the future. While 48% of UK survey respondents were attacked in the last year, over a third (35%) of business and technology leaders say they are well-prepared for an attack. Survey results from across Europe as a whole, however, show the IT and technology sector as the most confident in its ability to deal with an incident, with 35% saying they feel highly prepared, followed by companies in gaming and financial services (33% and 32% respectively).

Also read: Top Industries that are Vulnerable to Cyber threats

The reverse is true for the less targeted sectors in Europe. For those working in education and healthcare, less than a third (31% and 28%, respectively) claimed to have suffered an attack in the last 12 months. For those same industries, the perceived level of preparedness for an incident in the future was just 19% and 18%, respectively.

Despite the cyberattack threat, business leaders are optimistic about the increasing influence of cybersecurity. More than two-fifths (44%) see cybersecurity as a catalyst to modernise the workplace and the same number to enable better cyber risk understanding by the board, leading to funding for essential projects.

Commenting on the findings, Christian Reilly, Field CTO EMEA, said: “Thousands of UK business leaders are bracing themselves for growing cybersecurity threats that they feel ill-equipped to deal with.

“With incidents on the rise in both volume and frequency, preparation is key. Businesses that have previously faced attacks are seemingly on their guard, but industries that have not yet encountered such an incident are shockingly underprepared. Just because businesses have been lucky enough to avoid an attack so far, it doesn’t make them immune in the future.

“To face the increasingly multifaceted threat environment, greater investment is needed in consolidated and simplified solutions — and leaders must build a culture where cybersecurity is approached as a mission-critical strategic imperative.”

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