One in five businesses don’t have precautions in place to protect their digital network

The news is saturated with reports on network hackings and all things GDPR, and it’s more important than ever before that businesses start looking at the methods they’re implementing to store, use and obtain their digital data.

New research has been released that asks IT decision makers within UK businesses how they’re handling and securing their data. Nearly all companies (82%) of those surveyed stated they use more than one software solution for managing or transacting digital data within their business. And a significant percentage are now storing their business-critical active data (95%) as well as their archive data (89%) on cloud-based storage solutions.

When asked what type of digital data they process and store in the cloud, the top five were:

89% documents
75% archive data
71% financial information
70% personnel information
66% images.

So, this begs the question, with all this important, and often sensitive, information being stored within UK business’ IT software systems, just how valuable is this data to the company holding it? When the respondents were asked to put a monetary value on their digital data, 25% placed a value of over half a million pounds, 14% of which stated their data is worth around £1 million.

With all this data having such a high monetary value, it’s safe to assume that losing or damaging it would have a serious impact on the business. This view is further supported by the impact of the March 2017 WannaCry cyber-attack that infected over 300,000 computers across the globe and took down branches of the NHS. The results stated that 69% of businesses would find the impact of losing their digital data to be very negative.

Whilst the majority claimed their networks were secure, 11% of respondents felt their digital data system was neither secure nor insecure, which is slightly worrying, particularly when it was also unclear about what actual data is being held. Further to this 2% felt their network was insecure! Should something happen to their network, 25% wouldn’t be able to work at all if they had no access to their digital data. In addition to this, over half (51%) claimed they couldn’t go more than a day should their systems go down due to hardware failure or if their data was breached.

The more worrying statistics from the research came when the survey participants were asked if they had a strategy or precautions in place should something happen. One in five (20%) said they had no plan in place, but they were formulating one. Whereas 2% claimed they had nothing in place and no plans to implement one.

Cindy Phillips, Marketing Manager at OGL, who commissioned the study, says: “It’s interesting to see the results of this survey. As an IT solutions and cyber security company, we know how much of an impact having a digital data breach could have on a business.  We have worked with companies who have experienced both natural disasters which has taken down their critical infrastructure as well as those who have had their systems held to ransom by cyber-criminals.

“What makes it so much more worrying is that one in ten people said they felt neither confident nor unconfident that the company could be up and running again within a reasonable time frame if their digital data was affected. We invest significant amounts in the security and resilience of our cloud infrastructure as well in proactive cyber-protection to ensure our customers minimise their risk, but also to ensure robust backups and processes are in place to get them back up and running again. Having a well thought out disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place is critical.”

The survey was commissioned by and independently carried out by The UK sample size was 250 IT decision makers working in the IT department. Fieldwork was undertaken online between 7 – 11 June 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of relevant adult populations (aged 18+).

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