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Cyber security a big focus for companies

Data protection challenges continue to grow as businesses hold more and more sensitive information for customers, making cyber security one of the hottest topics in and out of the tech industry at the moment.

We look at new regulations facing cyber security and several tips to help you stay aware of what is happening and protect your company from a cyber attack.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is the technologies and processes designed to protect networks, computers, programmes and data from attack, theft or damage.

Personal information, intellectual property, big data and mergers & acquisitions information are common targets for cyber criminals.

Companies in the news for cyber attacks

Across the UK, several large companies have recently suffered from cyber attacks, resulting in a breach of security and sensitive information leaking to the public. A common consequence of an attack is disruption, which disables systems and infrastructure and stops programmes from working.

With the dramatic increase in online cyber crime and data theft, cyber security is an area that affects the daily lives of people and organisations. This is reflected in some of the recent ICO penalties/fines imposed on organisations for major breaches of information protection and weak cyber security controls. Media outlets have been covering all aspects of the attacks meaning customers are kept up to date with the whole process, including details of any breaches fines and restrictions. Companies are not only facing customer backlash, but also the inability to continue on with business as usual.

"Companies can no longer hide behind closed doors when recovering from a breach. Customers are more cautious than ever when choosing companies to work with, they want to know they can trust a company with their important information - making cyber security more important than ever," Ben Litvinoff, Associate Director - technology recruitment, Robert Walters.

Companies can no longer hide behind closed doors when recovering from a breach. Customers are more cautious than ever when choosing companies to work with.

New regulations

Companies are strengthening their cyber security teams in advance of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), coming into effect in 2018. Companies will soon be held fiscally liable for any security breaches. Fines through the new regulation can be up to 4% of their annual turnover, if a company is found to not have sufficient active information security risk and contingency plans in place to protect the personal data with which they have been entrusted. 

Read more about the GDPR and how to proactively protect your company from attacks here: 

Cyber security skills in high demand

As protecting sensitive data continues to grow as a priority, professionals who have the skills to ensure effective Information Security Management System (ISMS) are in place are now highly sought after by all level of businesses. We are also seeing an increased demand for professionals with strategy planning and business risk experience. 

"This trend is being led by banks and other financial institutions where data security is an extremely high priority, although we are seeing it in all major industries," Dawn May, Manager - Technology recruitment, Robert Walters. 

Due to the high demand, an increase for experienced professionals' salaries will see the biggest spike within the technology sector. The latest Robert Walters' Salary Survey revealed cyber security professionals could see a hike of up to 14% in the next year.

"Recognising that the demand for these professionals will only continue to grow as the cyber security risk landscape evolves and the change in regulation draws nearer, and making sure they are offering competitive packages will help ensure employers secure the highest calibre professionals," Dawn continued.

Robert Walters Cyber Security Seminars

Robert Walters recently hosted a series of seminars where experts in the industry provided insight into the above topics as well as answering questions from the audience about the future of cyber security.

Panellists included Martin Tyley - Partner,  KPMG, Andrew Avanessian - Vice President, Avecto, Andrew Hague - Managing Director,  Secarma, Haroon Malik - Managing Consultant, NCC Group. Tony Ventura - Senior Chief Security Officer, Hewlett Packard, Andrea Simmons - CISO Consultant & Director, SPS, and Adrian Holloway - Information Security Manager, SCC.

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