At a time when every UK business is being disrupted by unprecedented economic, social and technological change, it’s easy to get drawn into a fog of negativity and indecision. The real issue must be how to work these circumstances to your advantage, for the reality is that innovation is at the heart of business success.
It is timely then that the annual CBI Conference, taking place this week, has ‘Innovation, Growth and Prosperity in a World of Disruption’ as its central theme.
While not a new phenomenon, the current speed and scale of disruption is unprecedented, and this year’s Conference will explore how it can be harnessed to enhance UK business growth and shared prosperity.
But while digital innovation presents a huge opportunity for both UK business and economy, it goes hand in hand with a need for greater emphasis on cyber security.
To embrace disruptive innovation, organisations need to operate a connected business which is underpinned by a connected, and secure, infrastructure.
Somewhat concerning then, that Advanced’s inaugural Trend Report – which was announed yesterday at the Conference – found cyber security to be woefully undervalued by British business.
This October, Advanced surveyed over 1,000 professionals across the UK business community with the aim of uncovering the biggest concerns they are facing today.
The resulting Trend Report reveals the state of readiness amongst British businesses in the face of serious digital disruption, and the findings make concerning reading.
The stark fact is, with UK industry more focused on the possible economic reverberations of Brexit, a shocking 26% of British businesses – more than one in four – have left themselves open to the danger of a cyber attack.
The findings also revealed that nearly half (46%) claim that data security is not a deciding factor in adopting digital technology; despite recent Government research into cyber security which found that two thirds of large businesses experienced a cyber breach or attack in the past year.
This raises the pertinent question as to why cyber security isn’t at the top of the priority list for every business leader, particularly in light of the EU’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation, which could result in companies being fined up to €20m or 4% of their annual turnover, whichever is greater, for allowing security breaches to compromise their customer data.
The issue of cyber security is no longer reserved for ‘tech geeks’. Every single business and individual must now keep up with the significant problems arising from organised digital crime.
The new National Cyber Security Strategy, which has almost doubled previous funding commitments, reaffirms the significance of cyber security to every aspect of British life.
Cyber resilience therefore, has to be a growing priority for all businesses and the challenge now is to move from awareness to action.
Only by making the right investments and ensuring cyber security is a board level priority, will British business be able to make the UK a global beacon for digital and technological skills.
As well as revealing serious gaps in preparing for a cyber attack, the inaugural Trend Survey also highlighted three key trends around the state of business readiness: economic, digital and customer.
This indicates businesses could be ill-equipped for the turbulence being experienced now and ahead, arguably distracted by issues not within their control.
It’s clear from these findings that businesses are grappling with the level of change, while in meantime, the disruption from digital is becoming increasingly complex and pervasive.
Business leaders need to up their digital game. Although an openness and ability to reimagine their business is vital, if it isn’t combined with a strong cyber security, they will be left vulnerable to new threats and struggle to survive, let alone grow and prosper.
The question for every enterprise therefore must be: do you have the secure foundations in place to reimagine your business? Without them, your route to disruptive innovation will be littered with road blocks.
Sourced by Gordon Wilson, CEO, Advanced