Majority of businesses neglecting cybersecurity due to lack of resources

Employees think their company does not do enough to protect against cyber-attacks and data breaches, a new study reveals.

UK businesses are failing to protect themselves and neglecting cybersecurity for their firm due to a lack of IT resources, according to research from business solutions provider Office Depot.

Insights gathered from 500 IT managers working in large UK corporates reveals that three quarters (74 per cent) think their company is neglecting cybersecurity and data protection, with 81 per cent stating that they would benefit from having more time and resources to address these risks.

These concerns are not unfounded; in Q2 of 2016, four in five FTSE 100 companies were victim to potentially malicious domain registrations, enabling fraudsters to create dummy websites that can be used to trick users into supplying private data.

With the IT industry in the midst of a widespread skills shortage, poor allocation of resources seems to be the root cause of this issue. On average, IT managers say that over a third of their time is consumed by dealing with low-level hardware and software issues, such as fixing printing equipment, document recovery and troubleshooting, meaning that insufficient time is devoted to more complex tasks such as data security.

In total, the allocation of these low-level tasks to senior IT professionals costs businesses in excess of £4.2 billion each year. This figure could be spent on addressing core business risks if resource were better managed.

Rob Jones, head of managed print services at Office Depot, believes that empowering senior IT staff to address the complex challenges posed by cybersecurity threats and legislation surrounding data protection must be a priority for businesses.

Jones adds, ‘Delegating and outsourcing low-level tasks such as management of a firm’s printing function or hardware maintenance is essential to free up time for skilled IT staff to address these risks.

‘While the financial benefits of resource management are evident, removal of low-level tasks from senior IT professionals’ job descriptions is also likely to increase job satisfaction and in turn increase staff retention. With cybersecurity hot on the agenda, the role of the IT professional has become stretched. Investing in a team and infrastructure to address evolving technology needs now will pay dividends in the long run.’

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