Following the global ransomware cyber attack last Friday, insurance broker, Lockton, has revealed only 8% of UK companies use hacking detection methods every day.

The research from Lockton reveals the extent to which UK businesses are failing to keep pace with the rapidly evolving threat of cyber attacks, with only one in four (24%) checking for hacking activity just once every two to three months.

Lockton said the findings of the study of 200 senior decision makers responsible for cyber security, prevention and resolution highlight a staggering perception gap within UK plc  with 60% of organisations believing they are industry leading – despite infrequent use of hacking detection methods, inadequate engagement from key stakeholders and ineffective training leaving many dangerously exposed.

Other key findings from Lockton’s cyber attack study include:

  • Just 50% of UK businesses involve the board in cyber-breach planning
  • 27% do not ensure staff know how to deal with a cyber breach
  • 26% fail to educate new staff despite most common types of breach all being heavily linked to human factors

Peter Erceg, senior vice president, global cyber & technology at Lockton, said: UK companies are clearly underestimating their risk by thinking they are well prepared for a cyber security breach. The current crisis reveals the huge vulnerability of businesses to the ever-present threat of cyberattack and their failings in keeping pace with its rapid evolution.”

Erceg added that aside from the widespread inconvenience, the cost of a data breach can be profound, running into millions of pounds for larger organisations, with additional hits to reputation, customer base and business opportunities.

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He added: “You can never completely prevent a cyber breach, but proper training is a critical line of defence. In most cases, cyber attackers gain access through a member of staff, so it’s vital employees are trained to recognise suspicious or fraudulent activity.”