Cyber-attacks soar in 2019, with most UK businesses left unprepared to respond

As we approach the first anniversary of GDPR, cyber-attacks are rocketing in 2019, with more than half of British firms reporting cyber-attacks this year. Among firms reporting attacks, average losses associated with all cyber incidents have risen from $229,000 (£176,000) last year to $369,000, marking a 61 per cent increase.

Business executives are facing mounting scrutiny over cybersecurity measures as breaches rise, with densely interconnected regulation and more severe penalties. Risk and compliance management has become a critical part of operational and strategic decision-making.

A top priority for business leaders is enabling constant optimisation of their business’ existing risk and compliance framework. However, the majority of companies are admitting they are underprepared for breaches. Mitigating and controlling risks while remaining competitive is a significant challenge for all organisations, according to Dr. Gero Decker, CEO of Signavio.

Dr. Decker comments: “Detecting and responding to cyber-attacks is often stalled by a lack of transparency, as well as employees relying on complex, manual and paper-based compliance systems. Siloed functional units and lines of business lead to a lack of accountability, and an inability to comprehend the true potential impact on the wider business. With cyber-attacks on the rise and no company immune, one thing is for certain – every business must proactively manage risk and ensure ongoing compliance. To truly remain committed to compliance, and make it more than a tickbox exercise, businesses need to harness existing internal data to be able to detect, prevent and mitigate breaches.”

Dr. Decker continues: “Mapping out processes against regulatory frameworks such as the GDPR gives business users full visibility of areas where companies are handling data, what is required, the risks involved and how to mitigate them. Identifying where the risks lie in processes will enable employees to apply relevant controls. In cases where an incident has already occurred, businesses can extract value to report breaches, discover what processes are impacted, identify the risks and controls in place, or apply those controls where they don’t already exist. Business users can keep a log of recorded breaches to learn from, speeding up detection and configuring workflows to meet requirements based on the nature of the breach, as well as conduct analysis. In today’s digital age, robust and proactive risk and compliance management is a must to future-proof any business.”