UK businesses make cyber security a priority in light of COVID-19

PwC found that 96% of companies plan to shift their cyber security strategy as a result of the pandemic

An overwhelming 96% of UK executives said that they will shift their cyber security strategy due to COVID-19, according to a new study by PwC.

Half of the 256 business and technology executives surveyed revealed that they are more likely to consider cyber security in every business decision, while a third (34%) are planning to accelerate their digitalisation plans due to COVID-19.

The PwC survey found that a large number of businesses (58%) feared an attack on their cloud services would be the most likely cyber incident to impact their company over the next 12 months. This was followed by a disruptionware attack on critical business services (52%) and a ransomware attack (50%).

However, only 34% of UK respondents agreed that the strategic focus on cyber security will emphasise the role of the chief information security officer (CISO). In comparison, close to half (43%) of the 3,249 surveyed executives said they believe this shift will lead to more frequent interactions between the CISO and CEO or the company’s board.

According to PwC, this means that UK boardrooms should learn to prioritise cyber security conversations and align cyber risk with business strategy.

UK organisations were also found to be less confident about the ways their cyber security budget is spent. Only 38% of UK respondents expressed confidence about the allocation of their cyber budget, compared to 44% globally. Similarly, only 36% of UK respondents revealed that they were very confident that they are getting the best return on their cyber spend, in comparison to 42%.

However, in spite of this lack of confidence, more than half (56%) of surveyed UK executives revealed plans to increase their cyber budgets in 2021. 

PwC cyber security chair Richard Horne said that “it's surprising that so many organisations lack confidence in their cyber security spend”. 

“It shows businesses need to improve their understanding of cyber threats and the vulnerabilities they exploit, while changing the way they think about cyber risk so it becomes an intrinsic part of every business decision,” he added.

One way to improve collaboration with senior leaders as well as ensure the alignment of cyber security decisions with the business’ strategic goals is to hire “talent from more diverse backgrounds”, according to PwC Cyber Security Culture and Behaviour lead Daisy McCartney.

Security teams need a mix of soft and technical skills coupled with business knowledge,” she said.

Featured Resources

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Recommended

IT security awareness and training firm KnowBe4 acquires MediaPRO
Acquisition

IT security awareness and training firm KnowBe4 acquires MediaPRO

3 Mar 2021
High-risk email security threats increased by 32% last year
phishing

High-risk email security threats increased by 32% last year

3 Mar 2021
The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

3 Mar 2021
Microsoft Exchange targeted by China-linked hackers
zero-day exploit

Microsoft Exchange targeted by China-linked hackers

3 Mar 2021

Most Popular

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets
content management system (CMS)

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets

24 Feb 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021
How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop
Laptops

How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop

25 Feb 2021