Most Firms Admit Cyber Security Challenges Need New Skills

Survey Reveals Skills Gap In Online Security


Fergal Dowling, Partner | +44 (0)121 214 5476
Nearly three-quarters of companies in the UK say they are facing new cyber security challenges which demand new skills, according to a new survey by professional services firm KPMG.
The poll of 300 senior IT and HR professionals in large organisations revealed that 70 per cent of respondents think their organisation lacks data protection and privacy expertise, while the same proportion are not confident about their business's ability to assess new threats.
Although 60 per cent of respondents said they have a strategy to deal with any skills gaps, a similar proportion admitted it is becoming difficult to retain people with the right abilities. Some 53 per cent even said they would consider hiring ex-hackers to address the shortage.
"UK companies need to take stock of their cyber defence capabilities and act on the gaps that are specific to their own security needs," said Serena Gonsalves-Fersch, head of KPMG's Cyber Security Academy.
"It is important to have the technical expertise, but it is just as important to translate that into the business environment in a language the senior management can understand and respond to."

Expert Opinion
Data protection is a hugely important issue as a failure to address the issue in this day and age can have significant financial consequences for businesses, as well as take their toll from a reputational perspective in the minds of customers and clients too.

"This is an issue which SMEs simply cannot afford addressing, particularly considering how e-commerce and online platforms mean many businesses have more online information than arguably ever before.

"Small businesses should seek advice from IT professionals as well as legal experts to ensure that their houses are in order and they are complying when it comes to data security."
Fergal Dowling, Partner