June 29, 2017

Are companies taking cyber-security seriously?

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Written by Bryony Hunter, Engagement UK

“Cyber-crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world”- Ginni Rommetty, IBM

Has the world finally awoken to how serious cyber-security can really be?

Last year, 32% of companies said they were victims of cyber-crimes costing businesses roughly $5 billion. It’s expected that the number of companies attacked will double by 2020, and predicted to cost businesses up to $19 trillion by 2019. The scale of the attacks in the last few months should really be making companies sit up and take action. But are they?

The real worry is it doesn’t matter how many firewalls, and malware barriers you put in place, the biggest risk to most businesses is its people. Research indicates that 70% of businesses think that employees are the biggest risk to the business. And as the workforce changes, employees are becoming “unthinkingly reliant” on technology, making organisations more vulnerable than ever.

The changing workplace

The appeal of non-standardised and flexible working in the growing demand economy, and challenges to traditional notions of what the workplace is, has changed companies forever. It is estimated 30% of the workforce will be working flexibly by 2020. Mix that in with AI, blockchain technology and robotic automation which are also driving the seismic shift in how the world operates, means never before have organisations been so susceptible to multiple platforms of cyber threats! And this will only get worse.

This shift creates a huge challenge. It is a business imperative to change strategy around security awareness and improve compliance by people at all levels. This means creating an environment that builds commitment to protecting the organisation’s defences – not just getting employees to complete another eLearning on cyber-security.

The challenge is that it is very difficult to get people to change the way they do things. Changing behaviour is a choice, in this case – the choice is very simple – infect the organisation or don’t.

The smart companies are thinking differently; they are using nudge theory, influencer groups and empowering their people to make the right decisions. These decisions will impact your company most. The impact is so powerful, the right decision ultimately allows your business to survive.

If you want to find out more about how to empower your employees behind cyber-security, contact sarah.harrison@instinctif.com

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