The Brexit Backlash

The Brexit Backlash: How uncertainty is prompting UK businesses to bolster cyber security defenses

The consequences of Brexit are taking up the lion’s share of the news agenda. The further we delve into the topic, the more confusion arises. And that’s not just at the in the upper echelons of Government – UK businesses are seeing the pressures mount because they cannot predict what will happen when the UK leaves the EU.

Amongst this uncertainty however, it appears that organizations are bolstering defenses to offset any potential threat from the would-be cyber-criminal. Our research, which took the views of IT decision makers from UK enterprise organizations, found that over half of those surveyed (53%), had increased their cybersecurity budgets since the announcement of Brexit. The data suggests that while we don’t know for sure where the UK will be once we leave Europe; companies are putting plans in place to deal with an increase in cyber attacks.

The data also revealed the kinds of cyber attacks organizations are preparing for, identifying   Malware (49%), Phishing attacks (40%) and Ransomware (40%) as the top three threats to businesses. While these are not new threats to UK organizations, the data suggests that firms are making a conscious effort to get ahead of cybercriminals, who often use uncertainty as a starting point for attacks. It’s positive news that businesses understand the kinds of threats that are associated with such unclear times, meaning they are likely to prepare for the worst ahead of these attacks happening.

The data also highlighted how firms are arming themselves to deal with these attacks, detailing the kinds of security solutions UK businesses are deploying as part of their IT security armory. The largest investment areas were identified as Data Loss Prevention technology (49%) regulation compliance solutions (49%) and security for the Endpoint (40%). This is highly reassuring, with businesses clearly having already evaluated the potential threats and identified which solutions are best for mitigating the risks.

It is also critical, however, for organizations to keep up with how these cyber threats are evolving so they can adjust their plans and spending accordingly. For example, images are now a high-security risk to organizations’ as malicious or sensitive content can be hidden inside of everyday image files.

Another key area to bolster the ability to combat cyber threats is investing in employee education and training to ensure that workers have the knowledge to detect threats, understand information security policy and the organization’s breach notification processes. Moreover, it is imperative that firms have software capable of addressing these evolved threats. Clearswift’s Adaptive Data Loss Prevention (A-DLP) solution, a suite of tools created to ensure compliance whilst providing automated protection from threats such as malware, phishing and illicit data transfers, helps firms to detect, identify and address the myriad threats that will arise as a direct result of the confusion that surrounds Brexit. For example, A-DLP can not only redact malicious content from email, attachments or web downloads into the corporate network, it can also ensure sensitive data is detected and prevented from leaking outside of the network. This includes the capability to scan documents, images, web links, and more, to ensure that all forms of communication and file types are safe from risks.

At times of great change, there is always confusion, and at times of great confusion, there are always opportunists seeking to exploit it. The key to securing any company from the threats that will arise because of Brexit is to be prepared, and directly increasing cybersecurity budgets to ensure an organization has the resources it needs to fight against potential threats is the first step.

Additional Information