Regional cyber report
The subject of cyber-crime and surveys of it are understandably national or global because
of the nature of cyber; but what of regions?
According to a Lancaster University report, organisations involved in health, transport, professional and scientific sectors are at significant risk to cyber-crime. Companies involved in advanced engineering, manufacturing, finance and insurance, business administration and support services, as well as public administration and defence organisations, are also vulnerable to large financial or critical information losses.
The report, commissioned by Lancaster University’s Security Lancaster – an EPSRC-GCHQ Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research – also identified that wider take-up of robust cyber-security measures by organisations could help to avoid more than £70m in losses to cyber-criminals. The report suggests that online criminal activity is costing key sectors in the regional economy almost £107m a year.
According to Lancaster, smaller businesses are most vulnerable to hackers and industrial espionage in part because of their reduced size and inability to withstand significant losses, but also because of poor awareness of cyber-security, meaning they are less likely to have robust security measures in place.
As technology continually evolves and becomes more prevalent in business and our personal lives, there are more opportunities for criminals, who may not even be in the UK, to steal money, private data, or intellectual property. Business leaders need to take these threats seriously and put security measures in place if individual companies, and the North West as a whole, are to prosper.”
The Lancaster researchers say that the report’s figures are based on a very conservative estimate of the number of companies that experience a breach of their security. The report takes into account that 50 per cent of firms experience at least one breach a year – previous reports by organisations such as Price Waterhouse Coopers suggest cyber-security breaches can be as high as 93 per cent of large companies and 87 per cent of SMEs. The report suggested that the cyber-security market is worth around £428 million a year.