Lack of preparation leaving British companies vulnerable

ALMOST half of UK businesses are vulnerable to a range of risks that they face, leaving them open to fraud and other threats, according to a worrying survey.

The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) reveals today that 45 per cent of internal audit chiefs say their firm’s awareness of risks are in their early stages, in development or completely non-existent.

The survey says that despite growing risks, especially in financial fraud and data security, firms are unprepared for the challenges modern businesses face. Ian Peters of the IIA added: “As digital technology advances ever faster, the risks of both accidental leaks of confidential information and malicious attacks also grow significantly.”

According to the research, private firms outside of the financial services sector have been particularly slow to respond to new threats, with only 48 per cent prioritising data security.

However, heads of internal audit now have more access to the highest echelons of management: 62 per cent now have the opportunity to hold one-to-one meetings wither their board chairs, in comparison to 41 per cent in 2011.