According to research by US IT infrastructure company Opengear, 94% of CIOs in the UK identified cybersecurity as a significant and immediate threat to their organisations.

Opengear, headquartered in New Jersey, gathered responses from 502 CIOs and 510 network engineers across the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia, to shed light on the prevalent concerns surrounding cybersecurity.

For UK CIOs, malware (36%), spam and phishing (36%), ransomware (36%), and insider threats (27%) were identified as the primary cybersecurity worries. Notably, 37% of UK network engineers were also concerned about malware threats.

Social engineering attacks were reported as a concern by only 15% of UK CIOs, but the study found a higher level of worry among network engineers, with 23% expressing concerns about this specific type of cyber threat.

Additionally, 38% of UK engineers underscored a lack of sufficient investments as a factor increasing the risk of cyberattacks.

Insufficient budget allocation for software upgrades and network enhancements leaves organisations more susceptible to cyber threats – an issue flagged as a top priority by 88% of CIOs globally.

Opengear’s president, Gary Marks, said, “The skills shortage and insufficient investment in networks are two factors that have combined to encourage cybercriminals to breach businesses.”

The research also underlined the critical need for continued technology investment to empower engineers in safeguarding networks during cyberattacks.

Some 21% of UK network engineers are actively considering leaving their current roles due to inadequate funding—a trend that mirrors the global average of 21%.

According to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, there were more than 1,420 reported incidents of malware, ransomware, and phishing that targeted public bodies in the first half of 2023, a large jump from 855 incidents over the same period last year.

Earlier this year, a report by iomart and Oxford Economics found UK businesses experienced an average of 30 cyber incidents each in the last year – a 25% increase on last year.

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By GlobalData

The report found that businesses spend, on average, more than £40,000 a year on cyber protection, yet more than a quarter (27%) of organisations think their cyber security budget is inadequate.