Wednesday 5 October 2016 4:17 am

UK business doubles security spend as cyber threat grows

UK businesses are doubling down on cyber security – literally – as they spend twice as much on protecting themselves in the face of growing threats.

Cyber security budgets have more than doubled this year compared to last, rising to £6.2m per business, on average, as the costs of incidents rise amid ever growing threats.

The cost to businesses of tackling breaches and hacks has risen by more than half to £2.6m, according to PwC's annual Global State of Information Security Survey in which more than 10,000 executives from 133 countries were interviewed.

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UK businesses are also spending 60 per cent more on cyber security than the rest of the world, the survey found, however, organisations are still failing to do enough to protect themselves.

Nearly one in five firms have no clue how many times they experienced a cyber attack over the past year, while the average number increased by nearly a quarter to 5,792 per business.

The issue of cyber security is still failing to attract the attention of the board despite it being business critical; just a third of UK firms have this top level involvement in security budgets and even fewer (28 per cent) get involved in strategy, both falling behind the rest of the world.

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“It’s not just about having more budget to buy more technology to patch cyber security holes. UK organisations need to take a more strategic approach to how they spend their increased budgets to start to see a real uptick in security posture," said PwC's Uk cyber security director Richard Horne.

The proportion of companies with insurance specifically covering them in the event of a cyber attack declined, despite the rising threat, down to 38 per cent from 59 per cent a year earlier and 53 per cent globally.

The research comes as the UK government this week opened the new National Cyber Security Centre as part of its multi-billion pound efforts to tackle cyber crime on a national scale.