From conversations with our clients and other friends we know that the topic of cybersecurity still burns bright at the top of your agendas. Rightly so. The World Economic Forum’s recent report on Regional Risks for Doing Business 2019 ranks cyber attacks second only to fiscal crises in its assessment of global risks to business (and data theft makes the list in its own right, in seventh place). That makes cyber a bigger issue than traditional fears such as failures of national government or critical infrastructure. Ensuring your business is as well-prepared as it can be is a core goal, and we’re delighted to be helping so many of you around the world design - and test - your strategies for cyber.
The UK Government shares these goals. The digital economy looms large in policy making, and despite all the talk of Brexit you’ll also find cybersecurity in party manifestos for December's General Election. Take that of the Labour Party, for instance: while a controversial proposal to nationalise the broadband network has dominated headlines, dig deeper and you’ll find a pledge to appoint a Cabinet minister for cybersecurity (echoing a recommendation from the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy) and to review the roles and powers of the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency. Other political parties are, of course, available at your local polling station.
Famously, the machinery of government grinds to a halt thanks to the rules imposing purdah during the election campaign. But if you’re in the UK and want to influence the next phase of policy making for cyber, you don’t need to wait to see whether it’s Boris or a challenger who holds the keys to Number Ten come sunrise on 13 December. There’s an ongoing call for evidence where you can make your views heard.
While noting the considerable progress made on cyber (for instance, 96% of FTSE 350 companies now have a cybersecurity strategy) the Government believes there’s much more to be done. Why is it, for example, that only 46% of those same companies have a dedicated cyber security budget, and 77% are struggling to recognise and address cyber threats in their supply chains? What are the barriers to greater investment in cyber, and can the Government help with policy or market levers, perhaps, encouraging investors, insurers and others to drive improvements?
We know many of you will have views on this. You can find more information and response directions here and the Call for Evidence itself here. For those of you who will respond, you have until 23:59 GMT on Friday, 20 December 2019. And as ever, if you’d like to discuss anything, please get in touch.