UK businesses have an ‘overly optimistic picture’ of the digital landscape compared to their French and Germany, law firm Gowling WLG has said.
In its inaugural Digital Risk Calculator, which asked 999 large SMEs their views on digital risk, Gowling WLG found UK respondents consistently identified between 2 and 25% less than non-UK respondents for each risk area analysed.
Helen Davenport, director at Gowling WLG, said: “The recent wide ranging external cyber-attacks such as the Wannacry and Petya hacks reinforce the real and immediate threat of cyber-crime to all organisations and businesses.
“However, there tends to be an “it won’t happen to me” attitude among business leaders, who on one hand anticipate external cyber-attacks will increase over the next three years, but on the other fail to identify such areas of risk as a concern for them. This is likely preventing them from preparing suitably for digital threats that they may face.”
In the automotive space, external cyber-attacks and issues around highly sensitive or valuable data were rated as the top risks. 62% of automotive business questioned felt external cyber- attack was a threat to their business.
When asked about GDPR, which represents a significant change to data protection legislation, only 14% of total UK companies were aware of the finances they could face – compared to 26% of respondents from Germany and 45% from France.
Similarly only 52% of UK businesses reported doing regular data back-ups, compared to 66% in Germany and 67% in France.
Other digital risks high in the Automotive spectrum include regulatory issues (failure to understand/comply with regulations); lack of sufficient technical and business knowledge amongst employees; identity theft/ cloning and infrastructure risks
Patrick Arben, partner at Gowling WLG, said: “When affected by a cyber-attack or any other digital threat, the immediate focus is to work with IT professionals to understand what has happened. However, it is always worth taking internal or external legal advice, before commencing an investigation and as circumstances change.
“The essence for all business leaders is to stop ignoring the digital risks their companies face. By doing this, they can easily and proactively work to prevent future attacks from happening.”