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UK boards aren’t taking security seriously enough, IT leaders warn

Nearly half (48 per cent) of IT decision makers globally have warned that cyber security is not a top priority for their board members, despite a string of breaches hitting the headlines in recent months. In the UK, the figures are worse still; 52 per cent said security wasn’t a key concern for their execs.

But while Fortinet’s latest global security survey indicates that attitudes are changing slowly, there’s better news when it comes to spending habits. Nearly two thirds (61 per cent) of businesses with more than 250 employees are allocating over 10 per cent of their IT budget to security, and 71 per cent said their security budgets had increased from the previous year.

With 77 per cent of surveyed IT leaders saying their boards should further scrutinise security, Fortinet’s researchers identified three key drivers raising its profile: a rising number of global cyber attacks, increased pressure from regulators and the transition to the cloud.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of IT leaders said WannaCry and other major cyber attacks had increased the focus on IT security. Meanwhile, 34 per cent said regulation such as GDPR had highlighted the importance of security and 74 per cent said cloud security is a growing priority.

Patrice Perche, Fortinet’s senior executive vice president for sales and support, said companies that prioritise security are more likely to be competitive: “As organisations now embrace digital transformation and turn to technologies like the cloud, cybersecurity is no longer just an IT investment but a strategic business decision.”