The Brexit Backlash: 53% of Businesses Increase Cyber Security Spending in Preparation for Leaving the EU

  • Data loss prevention technology (49%) and regulatory compliance (49%) named as chief focus areas for investment, followed by endpoint security (44%)
  • Post-Brexit top security threats identified as: Malware attacks (49%), Phishing attacks (40%), and Ransomware attacks (40%)

Theale (UK), 11th April 2019.  – New research from data security company, Clearswift, has shown that, since the announcement of Brexit, over half (53%) of UK businesses have increased their cybersecurity spending. In preparation for leaving the EU, Professional Services and Manufacturing organizations were revealed as making the biggest change to security spending, with 60% and 53% of organizations in these industries respectively increasing investment in cybersecurity.

The research, which surveyed senior IT decision makers in UK organizations of more than 1,000 employees, also found that organizations are anticipating that Brexit will increase threats to data protection. The data revealed that the top three threats to organizations post-Brexit will be malware attacks (49%), phishing attacks (40%), and ransomware attacks (40%).

The threats identified by senior IT decision-makers are reflected in the kinds of investments that are being budgeted for by organizations. With many of the threats focused on malicious players gaining access to sensitive information via targeted attacks, respondents identified data loss prevention (DLP) technologies (49%), regulatory compliance solutions (49%), and endpoint security (44%) as the top investment areas post-Brexit.

Brexit has brought about a time of uncertainty for the UK, especially around the security of our nation’s critical data and cybercriminals will take advantage of the confusion.  But while the kinds of attacks identified in the survey are not new, the ways in which they are being delivered are becoming more advanced.  “It is critical for organizations to keep up with how cyber threats are evolving.  For example, images are now a high risk to organizations - sensitive data can be hidden inside of everyday image files and then readily exfiltrated through email. Malicious payloads for botnets and RATs, Remote Access Trojans, can also be hidden and easily downloaded from websites and other digital collaboration channels without being noticed,” commented Dr Guy Bunker, CTO at Clearswift.

The research shows that Businesses need to expect an increase in phishing and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks.  “In the lead up to leaving the EU, as well as once we’ve left, businesses need to review their security posture and address weaknesses. A key focus for organizations to mitigate cyber risks is to start inside the organization. Security training and threat awareness programs for staff, adapting policies and processes to securely handle critical information, as well as implementing suitable technology that acts as a safety net for accidents or malicious behavior,” said Dr Bunker.

Adaptive Data Loss Prevention (A-DLP) solutions are being recognized as key for protecting organizations from a multitude of threats. Advanced DLP solutions can automatically redact sensitive data as well as malicious content as it passes through a corporate network, without hindering communication flow. Real-time, bi-directional Deep Content Inspection and redaction occurs automatically at the boundary, preventing data breach risks on the way out and thwarting cyber-attacks on the way in.



Notes to editors:

This research was conducted by technology research firm, Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Clearswift.

100 senior IT decision makers in organizations of more than 1,000 employees across the UK were polled.


About Clearswift

Clearswift is trusted by organizations across the globe for advanced content threat protection and the highest level of defense against breaches through today’s digital communication channels. Our technology supports a straightforward and ‘adaptive’ data loss prevention solution that gives teams the freedom to securely collaborate, whilst providing information security personnel with visibility and control of sensitive information flow.

Over 70% of Clearswift clients operate within critical national infrastructure, including defense conglomerates, government agencies and financial institutions, all of which demand the most advanced cyber threat prevention and information security solutions. Working closely with these clients over two decades has enabled Clearswift to gain a clear understanding of the cyber challenges they face, keep abreast of their evolving threatscape, and support compliance with the complex regulatory environment within which they operate.

The united approach to working with clients has ultimately driven the specialized development of the award-winning Clearswift product portfolio which is backed up with a superior 24/7 customer and partner support service, and an extensive channel partner network across the globe.

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