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Cyber security underpinning the digital economy

03 Mar 2016
Cyber criminal on a smartphone device

A report authored by Professor Richard Benham, one of the UK’s leading experts, on the scale of the cyber-security problem and what businesses can do to protect themselves.

Cyber security was once the quintessential boring-but-important subject: no longer. Today cyber security is critically important to any business which wishes to operate online, in the cloud, or engage with social media. In other words, every company in more or less everything they do has to be aware of the threats and challenges. This report seeks to examine and highlight some of the key areas that will affect UK businesses in an ever-changing digital world over 2016 and beyond.

It is striking that when we stop and look back over the events of 2015, we only then truly realise the pace of change in technology and its increasing impact on the UK, be it in the public or private sectors. The UK is at the forefront of e-commerce, indeed it leads the world in terms of percentage of the economy that is online, 12.5%, all great and good, but such a leading position also leaves the country uniquely vulnerable to cyber attack.

We have grown accustomed to seeing technology changing at an ever-faster pace and for the most part people have been happy to embrace the revolution, ushering in businesses and processes which have allowed greater productivity, better customer experiences and a reduction in costs. The internet continues to allow new and existing business of all sizes to access and trade digitally at ever increasing levels in a global marketplace.

In part it is always going to be challenging countering a global threat with domestic UK law and practices, but there is also the opportunity for the UK to set the global standards and best practices in a threat that businesses and consumers will undoubtedly face as time goes on. As a consequence global distributed threats have emerged. These are not restricted by geographic boundaries and are targeted at everyone from governments and global corporations to individual citizens. The threats we see today are at an all-time high in terms of sophistication and volume and these variables will only increase as consumer demand for quicker and easier interaction comes at a price.

Traditionally a definition of cyber security would be to describe it as the protection applied to computing devices and networks including hand-held devices that cover the whole internet. By this definition there are few areas left in the world where this does not have an impact. This is also where most money has been historically spent by governments and businesses to protect themselves.

Read full report


The IoD Cyber Security Summit 2017

Learn about the emerging global and national trends in the cyber crime arena, and receive practical steps on what you can do to protect your business at the IoD Cyber Security Summit 2017 on 27 March at 116 Pall Mall.

Book tickets here


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