The well-documented attacks of Wannacry and Petya earlier this year and the constantly evolving cyber security threat has placed a significant strain on IT resources leading to businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland increasing investment and strengthening levels of protection against cyber-attacks.
These are the findings of a local new survey* of both the public and private sector recently conducted on behalf of BT Business in Northern Ireland by FN Research.
Those who took part in the study revealed:
- Additional investment has been made in security technology, tools and resources including staff awareness;
- They are introducing more frequent patching cycles for legacy systems;
- The issue of cyber security is discussed at board level as a business, rather than an IT issue;
- Some have in-house security expertise while others use third party resources to protect their business or organisation;
- All of those questioned, agreed that they were confident about their ability to deal with cyber security threats in the next twelve months, although they recognised the need to remain vigilant;
- Despite that confidence, just over half of those surveyed said they had the skills they needed – in-house or otherwise – to deal with a cyber-attack.
Paul Murnaghan, Regional Director for BT Business in Northern Ireland said companies need to be fully prepared.
“As this survey shows, both the public and private sector face big challenges, not least the constantly evolving cyber security threat and for some, even if it was readily available, there is a lack of trained cyber security expertise to manage and deal with that threat.Understandably, not every firm can afford to have this in-house - but that’s where BT can help.
"Our customers can tap into the security expertise we use to protect our own network. We have more than 2,500 security experts focused on protecting us and our customers. They protect BT from over 250,000 attacks a month - which is a lot of reputation we’re saving, every day and every week.
"We work with over 220 market leading partners and vendors including global giants Cisco and local SME Cyphra and, BT’s own security Research & Development team at Adastral Park in Suffolk, has registered over one hundred security patents which shows how BT is at the forefront of innovation in security.
"In August this year, the leading global market intelligence company, the International Data Corporation (IDC), said that BT is the ‘leader’ in Western Europe for managed security services."
Paul concludes: "As a leader and innovator in security, BT has the scale, expertise and reach that can provide local business and organisations with the support to meet the challenge of the ever evolving security threat."