Reports appear everyday about the cybersecurity threat facing British businesses. In the last six months alone, the major U.K. press have written almost 1,000 articles on cybersecurity threats. And it’s no surprise, given two thirds of large UK businesses were hit by a cyber breach or attack in the past year.
But with this constant background noise, there is a risk that reporting is contributing to a broader apathy among executives. Or worse: desensitising them to this serious issue. Add to this the numerous facts and figures from IT companies describing an almost insurmountable challenge for business and it’s no wonder many cannot help but switch off.
It is true businesses all over the world need to do more to ensure they are adequately prepared to combat cyber threats. Globally, it is predicted that cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019, while worldwide spending on cybersecurity is predicted to top $1 trillion by 2021.
It is for this reason that we need business leaders and IT managers to feel empowered to address the risks their businesses face, rather than overwhelmed by the size and scale of the issue.
Helping companies maintain a healthy level of alert, rather than paralyzing fear, is what is ultimately best for businesses and their customers. At Tanium, we have always been strong advocates of solutions over apathy, and enhanced capability over anxiety.
It is no wonder many businesses do not understand cyber security, their current exposure, or the solutions available. Tanium’s survey of 1,530 non-executive directors, CEOs, and CIOs of major corporations found that 91% of board members say they can’t interpret a cybersecurity report, while 87% of board members and executives don’t consider their malware, antivirus, software and patches to be 100% up-to-date at all times.
It is therefore up to us –the technology sector– to not only propose solutions, but to demonstrate how they are achievable. The conversation needs to be educating, not alarmist.
The tools are available now to make it easy for businesses to respond to cyber threats. Our pioneering 15-second endpoint visibility and control has greater capabilities than ever before, namely, the ability to address the latency and scale issues of security tools of the past.
Together, we must ensure that business leaders do not switch off from this serious issue. To ensure businesses are prepared, we need a public conversation built on openness, understanding and optimism.
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About the author: Richard Olver is Vice President, EMEA, at Tanium in London.