Cyber villains strike fear into heart of UK firms

17 April 2015 -


Risks over cyber security is key concern for firms in UK, US and Europe

Ben Walker

Plundering cybercriminals are triggering major fears among world businesses.

The growing threat of cybercrime has led cyber security to be among the top three concerns for chief executives in the UK, US and continental Europe, a new report reveals.

The findings come from the CEO Challenge report. The research, which is produced by CMI and the Conference Board, surveys business leaders across the world about their priorities for their companies and the wider economic landscape, and how they intend to deal with them.

Cyber security is ranked as the third-highest ‘hot button’ issue demanding the attention of UK and European bosses in the short term, says the report. It is the second-highest concern among chief executives in the US (see graphic below).

“The latest tech advancements feed into great strategic opportunities but in the immediate term they are causing plenty of headaches,” said Ann Francke, CMI chief executive. “Leaders urgently need to think about how they manage cybersecurity as part of their primary strategic focus of creating a strong customer-centric culture.”

Yet, for UK chief executives, social media management was seen as an even bigger priority than cybercrime, the report revealed, ranking as their top “hot button” issue. “Cybercrime has become an enormous threat to business, with an estimated annual cost of as much as £266bn globally. Yet chief executives realise that social media could be even more important,” added CMI’s head of research Patrick Woodman. “For many businesses, social media is central to the strategic aim of putting customers at the centre of how they work. Managers should be thinking hard about how they could use social media to talk with their customers and better understand what they want.”


Find the full CEO Challenge infographic PDF here

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock

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