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UK security skills gap aiding cyber crime

A lack of information security skills among the UK’s IT workforce is hampering the fight against cyber criminals, according to the latest research from the IET.

The 2013 IET Cyber Security Skills Survey of 250 SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) found that while the risks of online threats such as hack attacks and malware are gaining more recognition, they are only accorded a ‘high priority‘ by a minority of the organisations polled. There is also a need to raise both awareness and the protection of software embedded in their products, the findings indicate.

Only 14 per cent felt that cyber security threats were the highest priority and already believed that they had sufficient skills and resources in place to manage the threat. And only 30 per cent of all respondents said that they had ‘sufficient protection against potential threats’ to software embedded in their products.

They also found that only 50 per cent of respondent SMEs were aware of the UK Government’s Cyber Security Strategy.

“Increasing threats to ICT systems and new vulnerabilities emerge daily,” says IET cyber security expert Hugh Boyes. “We are working among the UK engineering and technology communities to raise awareness of the need to improve the cyber security of both our critical national infrastructure and all the technology we use.”

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