A new cyber security report from Vodafone, Cyber Security: The Innovation Accelerator, highlights a strong link between how cyber security is used and business success, with 86 per cent of high-growth companies seeing information security as an enabler of new business opportunities, rather than simply a means of defence.
The research showed a number of perceived benefits that strong cyber security can bring to the relationship between an organisation and its customers:
· 89 per cent of businesses said that improving cyber security would enhance customer loyalty and trust
· 90 per cent said it would enhance their reputation in the market, potentially attracting new customers
· 89 per cent said they felt better information security was a competitive differentiator that would help them win customers.
Organisations that use cloud technology or the Internet of Things (IoT), report greater returns from the way they use cyber security. IoT adopters report a 24% increase in financial benefits from having strong cyber security including improvements to their business agility.
More demanding customer requirements and the awareness of rising cyber threats are driving an increase in cyber security budgets, with 87% of businesses expecting to increase spending on cyber security in the next three years, and 10% of companies expecting budgets to double.
However, 41% of security decision-makers across industry sectors were uncertain about where best to find help in dealing with cyber security challenges. The engineering and construction sector was the most uncertain with 52% of organisations unsure of where to turn for advice.
The research showed particular challenges for smaller businesses with 60% of smaller companies feeling poorly informed about security.
Attitudes to the likelihood of cyber threats impacting an organisation vary across geographies. Only 55% of Italian businesses worry about cyber security affecting their business while in the USA and Singapore that number rises to 73%. Smaller businesses are most concerned about permanent loss of data, while larger organisations are most concerned with regulation and compliance issues.
Commenting on the research Vodafone Group Head of Enterprise Cyber Security Strategy & Innovation, Andrzej Kawalec said, “Cyber security has evolved beyond simple protection of the status quo and is being used by companies of all sizes to support and accelerate innovation and growth. It is giving businesses greater confidence in opening up new markets and introducing new services. While we are seeing a desire to create cyber ready organisations, companies are not sure about who best can help them. I believe that the most successful companies will be the ones which design in security from the start and use it as springboard.”
The Vodafone Cyber Security: The Innovation Accelerator gathered responses from more than 1,400 small, medium-sized and multinational corporations (s) across eight countries.