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Businesses ignoring security when investing in new tech

Only a quarter of organisations are prioritising security when it comes to technology investment, according to a new report by Advanced. 

As businesses strive towards digital transformation, these findings come as a blow as separate reports show cyber attacks continue to hit firms hard, suggesting that security is being ignored, the company says.

The report also reveals only a third (34%) admit that regulatory change is triggering the purchase of new technology in their organisation, which is surprisingly low given the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May last year, Advanced says.

Justin Young, director of security and compliance at Advanced, says the GDPR should have been a wake-up call for organisations to better protect their customers personal data.

"Why, then, are so many businesses still failing to take security seriously?," Young says. 

"Information security is important not only because it can improve customer confidence, support good data governance and demonstrate compliance with the GDPR, but also because it is actually a key driver to achieving successful digital transformation," he explains. 

"In fact, no technology should be implemented without understanding its security implications."

Yet, according to Advanced's report, only 53% currently have a security strategy in place.

"It perhaps comes as no surprise, then, that security concerns are holding more than a third of businesses back from achieving a successful digital strategy," Young says.

While it's unclear from the research what the concerns and barriers are, a large number of reports do suggest a skills shortage could be to blame. The latest (ISC) Report, for example, finds that 63% organisations have a shortage of IT staff dedicated to cyber security with 59% at moderate or extreme risk of cyber security attacks as a result.

"What is clear, however, is that organisations need to act now," says Young. 

"They need to work out what skills they do have in-house to manage the basics (and then, if needed, work out what to outsource) and prioritise raising awareness across the rest of the workforce," he explains. 

"Ultimately, every cyber security strategy must start with educating people that a company's data is sensitive and this education must not stop. This means IT and security leaders continually need to ensure a culture of responsibility is adopted at all levels."