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Is your business at risk of a cyber attack?

PUBLISHED: 15:31 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 02 July 2019

Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC): a Grant Thornton survey suggests businesses aren't doing enough to protect themselves against cyber crime   Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC): a Grant Thornton survey suggests businesses aren't doing enough to protect themselves against cyber crime Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Sarah Chambers

Firms across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex are highly vulnerable to cyber attack and are failing to take the problem seriously, a new poll suggests.

James Arthur, partner and head of cyber consulting at Grant Thornton  Picture; ALEXANDER CAMINADA/GRANT THORNTONJames Arthur, partner and head of cyber consulting at Grant Thornton Picture; ALEXANDER CAMINADA/GRANT THORNTON

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The Ipswich office of financial advisers Grant Thornton found half of companies across the East of England which it polled did not have a strategy in place to mitigate the risk of cybercrime and keep the business going in the event of an attack.

The survey, conducted at a series of cyber security awareness events held by the firm across the region, revealed that although two thirds of companies attending had been targeted by cybercrime, only 53% had developed strategies against attacks and just 50% had business continuity plans should they fall victim to a breach, leaving them highly vulnerable.

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A 2019 Cyber Security Breaches Survey found 60% of mid sized UK businesses and 61% of large businesses had identified a cyber breach or attack in the last 12 months.

Grant Thornton said local firms needed to take the threat of seriously and put protections and systems in place to prevent a breach or mitigate any fallout.

James Arthur, head of cyber consulting at Grant Thornton, said: "Cyber security isn't just a technical problem, it's a risk that should be managed in a similar way as all other business risks.

"The continuous development of new methods to connect and share information increases the chance of a security threat.

"Our poll results clearly show a cyber attack is not just something that 'happens to other businesses' - it's a real issue that can affect us all and cause severe damage to an organisation's immediate business capability and reputation.

"Cyber incidents are unpredictable and unforgiving and while it may not be possible to completely prevent risk, having robust procedures in place will greatly limit the chances of an attack and reduce the impact should a breach occur."

Grant Thornton's survey found just 40% of businesses in the East of England feel their insurance provides adequate protection against cybercrime.

The Cabinet Office estimates the total annual cost of cybercrime to UK businesses at £21bn

"The consequences of an attack can be severe and it's not just the loss of trade and cost to a business's reputation that has to be counted," said Mr Arthur.

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