An industry-wide survey has found that in the UK telecom companies are at the highest risk of falling victims to cyberattacks out of all the businesses. Yet, they spend the least on cybersecurity. This exposes telecom companies to major data breaches.
The study, carried out by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), has found broadband and mobile providers in the UK were most at risk of being hacked.
After modelling a real cyberattack across industries, economists at the CEBR discovered telecom companies were most susceptible due to the sensitive information they store, the value of this information, and the low levels of investment in data security.
Over half of telecom bosses who participated in the survey acknowledged that their company would have to contend with significant data breaches within the year.
The head of cybersecurity at CGI, Andrew Rogoyski, warned that many British companies were grappling with cybersecurity issues and if they do not allocate more money towards data security, they risk more breaches. He went on to add that most telecom heads were aware of the risk, but do not know how to proceed, and as a result, many fail to prioritise cybersecurity.
However, nearly three-quarters of telecom companies have stated they now plan on increasing their investment on cybersecurity. The CEBR estimates that the total cost of significant data breaches for a business in a year to be about £1.2 million.
Vodafone has established its own security wing. The telecom giant has developed cybersecurity technology with BAE Systems, and intends to sell it to its business customers.