Eight in 10 FTSE 350 firms to boost cyber safety spend

7 August 2018

Cyber is the biggest growing risk for UK businesses, a survey of top companies has found.

A survey of FTSE 350 firms found that 72% of businesses believe cyber risk is increasing, and 88% are increasing their spending on cyber risk mitigation.

Nearly all the respondents to the FT-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether survey, a twice yearly temperature check of UK boardrooms, believed overall business risk would either increase (46%) or stay the same (45%). In terms of overall risk, respondents put cyber risk first at 39%, with global economic risk at 30%, and Brexit at 6%.

The survey, conducted by the Financial Times and the ICSA (a membership body supporting good business governance), found the majority of companies were prepared for the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with just 7% reporting there were not ready. However only 39% said they believed their customers would be better protected by the stricter regulations.

The new rules, which made contracting organisations liable for how subcontractors use personal data, provided an opportunity to review contracts and arrangements with suppliers, said some of the survey respondents. But a greater number of businesses said that the need to divert resources to achieving compliance was a frustration.

Concern over Brexit appears to be easing generally, and was rated lower than most other forms of risk, with nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents stating the exit from the EU was not among the principle risks facing their company. Over half (58%) believed Brexit would have no impact on their business.

The number of respondents who believed Brexit would negatively affect their business fell from 50% in winter 2017 to 42%.

No respondents believed Brexit would have a positive impact on their business.

And, while the majority of businesses still believe Brexit threatens an economic decline, the percentage has fallen from 69% in summer 2017 to 55% this year.

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