An investigation into how cyber ready businesses really are

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The more cyber ready a business becomes, the better its overall business outcomes. Vodafone’s Cyber Ready Barometer notes 48% of cyber ready businesses are reporting more than 5% increases in annual revenue as well as high stakeholder trust levels. Despite this, the research also shows that only 24% of businesses globally could reasonably call themselves cyber ready.

cyber ready

Cyber readiness, according to the report, is a mix of different measures including cyber operations, cyber strategies, cyber resilience, an understanding of risk and employee awareness. Key findings include:

  • Healthcare, technology and financial services sectors are the most cyber ready with retail and education the least
  • Businesses in India, the UK and the USA are the most cyber ready while The Republic of Ireland, Singapore and Germany perform less well
  • Larger enterprises are most likely to be cyber ready but can be hampered by management and control issues.

One of the more interesting areas undermining cyber readiness has been identified as the disconnect between what employers believe about employee activity and what is actually taking place. For instance, employers of all sizes offering remote working believe a maximum of 46% of their employees work remotely, while 59% of employees report that they work away from the office. This kind of disconnect extends to the use of personal devices to access company data – 43% of companies believe employees use their personal smartphones for work while in reality 63% of employees do so.

The report illustrates that a common challenge for businesses is to align security and cyber policies more closely with employee requirements and behaviours. Employees understand their role in ensuring cyber security with 47% of staff reporting policies are followed but most say there are some types of “work rounds” used. However, 42% of workers say that policies actually hinder their efficiency.

Vodafone Enterprise Cyber Security Lead Maureen Kaplan commented, “There is clearly a common desire for both employees and employers to do the right thing, but a big discrepancy in understanding. This research demonstrates that businesses must create digital cyber security policies, which are compatible with their workforce, not just to tick a box. The report also highlights a link between being cyber ready and business results, understanding your employee behaviour and how to secure it across devices, locations and networks, is more important than ever in a digital world.”

cyber ready

The report also identifies a strong link between success in cyber readiness and reaching a tipping point in overall performance, while delivering competitive advantage in regards to other business KPIs.

For instance, with the most advanced businesses:

  • 68% of cyber leaders say they are more focussed on innovation than close competitors
  • 65% believe they are more customer centric than less cyber ready competitors
  • 59% of cyber ready businesses believe they have a competitive digital advantage.

The Vodafone Global Cyber Readiness Barometer was based on responses from 3,281 consumer/employees and 1,528 business IT decision makers in nine countries around the world accounting for 48% of global services GDP.