Majority of UK firms attribute recent cyberattacks to tech vulnerabilities

A study by cybersecurity firm Tenable has found that 72% of UK firms have attributed recent cyberattacks to vulnerabilities in technology put in place during the pandemic.

The study – titled Beyond Boundaries: The Future of Cybersecurity in the New World of work – harvested opinion from over 1,300 security leaders, remote employees and business executives.

It found that only 48% of UK companies were adequately prepared to support hybrid working models from a security standpoint – with the result being that 78% of security and business leaders believe that their organisation was more exposed to risk as result of remote working.

The move to home working accelerated cloud adoption for many critical systems. Up to 46% of businesses moved business-critical functions to the cloud, including 42% of accounting and finance firms and 33% of human resources companies. On this finding, 80% of security leaders believed this exposed their organisations to increased cyber risk.

These weaknesses are leading cyber-attackers to take advantage, with 90% of companies surveyed experiencing a business-impacting cyberattack in the last year. Of these, 51% of them fell victim to three or more hacks.

Tenable highlighted that hybrid work models and a digital-first economy ‘have brought cybersecurity front and center as a critical investment that make or break short- and long-term business strategies’.

To deal with these requirements, up to 75% of UK security leaders said they planned to increase their network security investments over the next 12 to 24 months, while 73% said they would increase their spend on cloud security and 66% would boost spending on vulnerability management.

Tenable CEO Amit Yoran said, “Remote and hybrid work strategies are here to stay and so will the risks they introduce unless organizations get a handle on what their new attack surface looks like.

“This study reveals two paths forward — one riddled with unmanaged risk and unrelenting cyberattacks and another that accelerates business productivity and operations in a secure way. CISOs and CEOs have the opportunity and responsibility to securely harness the power of technology and manage cyber risk for the new world of work.”

Tenable VP of EMEA David Cummins added, “The rapid adoption of technology to support a hybrid working model and moving business-critical functions to the cloud were a necessity driven by circumstance. The reality has seen the corporate attack surface explode, with many organisations still struggling to understand and address the risks introduced. Managing the plethora of technologies is now necessary to ensure enterprises aren’t left vulnerable and susceptible to cyberattacks.”

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