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New research commissioned by IP EXPO Europe, Europe’s number one enterprise IT event, has uncovered that 47% of UK IT decision makers (ITDMs) are more worried about cyber terrorism attacks now than they were 12 months ago. This was identified as the biggest cyber security risk in the future (27%), followed by attacks to national infrastructure (13%).

In light of this newly perceived risk, more ‘traditional’ cyber threats such as malware, ransomware and DDos are rated as a lower risk, with only 11%, 10% and 9% of ITDMs respectively noting these threats as the biggest risk. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has led to an overwhelming 94% of respondents demanding that the UK Government spend more on national cyber security.

Unsurprisingly, 43% identified cyber security as one of the main technology themes for enterprises in 2017, with 89% of respondents admitting worry about being the victim of a security breech. However, almost a third (29%) are even more worried than they were 12 months ago, indicating concern over rising threat levels.

In addition, the research revealed concern over the rising threat level. Not only have 52% of ITDMs had to deal with at least one cyber attack on their organisation in the last 12 months, 67% think that the threat level has increased in the last year. In fact, 32% would rate the current threat level as 21 to 30% higher than previously. Technology developments in areas such as AI (22%) and cloud (49%) are identified as increasing exposure to cyber security threats.

“The fact that cyber security is a rising concern amongst ITDMs solidifies what we have been hearing from our exhibitors for years – that cyber attackers are getting smarter so it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for organisations to keep up with the evolving attack styles,” commented Bradley Maule-ffinch, Director of Strategy for IP EXPO Europe. “At IP EXPO Europe we’ve always been focused on ensuring that visitors can learn about the biggest technology problems of the moment and how to address them. For many, cyber security is top of the agenda and this year we’ve built an extensive program to address all aspects of this so that organisations can better keep their assets secure.”

Not only are UK ITDMs dealing with increased threat levels, many also claim they are continuing to face resourcing and skills issues. 29% are more worried about having enough resources to keep their business safe from cyber threats than they were 12 months ago, whilst 27% think that cyber security skills are going to be the most in-demand STEM skills in the future.

In light of these results, it is unsurprising that 16% expect to spend over 50% of their IT budget on cyber security and 25% will spend 11 to 30%. Conversely, an astonishing 18% saying they don’t expect to allocate any budget to cyber security solutions in the next 12 months.

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