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Nearly nine in ten UK firms feel more vulnerable to data security threats than they have in the past, according to a report.

Research by Vormetric has shown that 89 per cent of organisations feel somewhat or more vulnerable than they were to internal and external threats to sensitive data, with 23 per cent feeling that their information is “very or extremely” at risk.

The top reason firms secure such data is to protect their brands and reputations, the report found, with 50 per cent giving this reason. 47 per cent secure it to meet compliance requirements and 41 per cent aim to implement security best practices”.

“But IT security spending plans tell another story,” said Garrett Bekker, 451 Research senior information security analyst and report author, “with compliance the top priority at 48 per cent, while reputation and brand protection spending dropped to 45 per cent.

“Clearly, organisations are having trouble prioritising their budgets to best ensure the safety of customers and the viability of their business.”

46 per cent of organisations in the UK said they had experienced a data breach at some stage, while 19 per cent said they had been breached in the last 12 months.

Of those planning to adopt Internet of Things technologies, 42 per cent said protecting the sensitive data generated was their biggest security concern.

42 per cent of businesses plan to spend on network defences in the next 12 months, while 39 per cent said their priority is analysis and correction tools and 38 per cent said their budgets will go towards endpoint and mobile defences.

The news is the latest in a series of concerning reports for IT security leaders.

Just yesterday, a survey showed that less than a quarter of CIOs believe their organisations are well-prepared to deal with cyber attacks. And an earlier report found that three quarters of organisations feel unprepared for cyber security incidents.

Luckily for the victims of attacks, there are several organisations – including the Metropolitan Police – that can help them in the aftermath.

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