UK businesses face ‘digital security gap’ over online brands, research shows

Many UK businesses are missing crucial parts of their cyber security strategies, according to new research.

A study by RiskIQ found that while 82 per cent of the C-suite and senior management are concerned about the vulnerability of their websites, mobile applications and social media accounts, many do not have important parts of their defensive plans in place.

57 per cent do not have a digital brand protection programme or team in place and 34 per cent are missing a dedicated cyber threat management programme.

As a result, the researchers said businesses are missing the opportunity to detect cyber threats in the early stages, where their effects would be less severe.

At the same time, firms are investing heavily in the web, mobile and social media, introducing risks that sit outside of their corporate firewalls.

82 per cent say the security of these digital channels is a boardroom concern and 90 per cent say their organisations are equally or more at risk than they were five years ago.

Meanwhile, business leaders showed high confidence in protecting their firms’ digital presences despite lacking the controls required to do so.

Although 88 per cent rated themselves as having a good to excellent knowledge of cyber security, a quarter either do not know or do not monitor their digital channels.

As such, 85 per cent said cyber security and brand protection concerns are affecting the rollout of new digital initiatives at their organisations, and 62 per cent said their organisations are at increasing risk from digital brand impersonation.

“Our research shows that while organisations are advancing their use of digital channels, security is once again playing catch up,” said Ben Harknett, RiskIQ’s EMEA vice president.

“This lag results in increased digital risk which could impact the success of those channels. Digital risk monitoring and external threat management needs to be considered by all organisations in the defence of their digital channels.”

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