More than a third of top executives in the UK believe that their organizations will face a hacking or cyber attack in the next 12 months, while telecoms and utility companies are most at risk, with over half of executives in these industries preparing for an attack.
This is according to research from cyber security firm CGI and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The study also noted that the average price businesses would put a £52.5m on the value of secure information. However, the figure fails to consider the additional costs associated with cybercrime such as damage to reputation, legal fees, fixing the problem, and many other intangible assets.
According to Andrew Rogoysk, head of security of CGI, the costs of cyber attacks could run into tens of millions. For example, last year’s hacking of TalkTalk led to losses of £60m while Sony’s email hack cost the company £10.4m.
The damage to brand and reputation was cited as the biggest impact by over 150 bosses surveyed. However, telecoms executives focused more on share prices or financial performance as the worst affected by cyber attacks.
Boardroom talks about cyber security happened only every few months, according to most respondents, showing that it is not a high priority for many companies. Rogoysk warned that unless more is done to improve understanding about cyber security among companies’ top brass, we will be seeing more high-profile breaches in the near future.