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Brexit spend on cyber

Since the announcement of Brexit, over half (53pc) of UK businesses have increased their cyber security spending, according to research from a data security company. In preparation for leaving the EU, professional services and manufacturing organisations surveyed were found to be making the biggest change to security spending, with 60pc and 53pc of organisations in these sectors respectively increasing investment in cyber security.

The survey for Clearswift of senior IT decision makers in UK organisations of more than 1,000 employees, also found that organisations are anticipating that Brexit will increase threats to data protection. The data revealed that the top three threats to organisations post-Brexit will be malware attacks (49pc), phishing attacks (40pc), and ransomware attacks (40pc).

Those threats identified are reflected in the kinds of investments that are being budgeted for by organisations. With many of the threats focused on malicious players gaining access to sensitive information via targeted attacks, respondents identified data loss prevention (DLP) technologies (49pc), regulatory compliance solutions (49pc), and endpoint security (44pc) as the top investment areas post-Brexit.

Brexit has brought about a time of uncertainty for the UK, especially around the security of our nation’s critical data and cyber criminals will take advantage of the confusion. But while the kinds of attacks identified in the survey are not new, the ways in which they are being delivered are becoming more advanced. “It is critical for organisations to keep up with how cyber threats are evolving. For example, images are now a high risk to organisations – sensitive data can be hidden inside of everyday image files and then readily exfiltrated through email. Malicious payloads for botnets and RATs, Remote Access Trojans, can also be hidden and easily downloaded from websites and other digital collaboration channels without being noticed.

The firm adds that businesses need to expect an increase in phishing and ‘Business Email Compromise’ (BEC) or ‘ceo fraud’ attacks.

Bunker added: “In the lead up to leaving the EU, as well as once we’ve left, businesses need to review their security posture and address weaknesses. A key focus for organisations to mitigate cyber risks is to start inside the organisation. Security training and threat awareness programs for staff, adapting policies and processes to securely handle critical information, as well as implementing suitable technology that acts as a safety net for accidents or malicious behaviour.”



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