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Vodafone tries to quantify cyber readiness

Written by NTN staff

The more ‘cyber ready’ a business becomes, the better its overall business outcomes, finds Vodafone’s new Cyber Ready Barometer report. Businesses that are "cyber ready" are reporting faster growth in sales than security, according to the telco, which correlates cyber readiness with better business performance.

Cyber readiness, according to the report, is a mix of different measures including cyber operations, cyber strategies, cyber resilience, an understanding of risk and employee awareness. Key findings include:

• Healthcare, technology and financial services sectors are the most cyber ready with retail and education the least
• Businesses in India, the UK and the USA are the most cyber ready while The Republic of Ireland, Singapore and Germany perform less well
• Larger enterprises are most likely to be cyber ready but can be hampered by management and control issues

One area undermining cyber readiness has been identified as the disconnect between what employers believe about employee activity and what is actually taking place. For instance, employers of all sizes offering remote working believe a maximum of 46% of their employees work remotely, while 59% of employees report that they work away from the office. This kind of disconnect extends to the use of personal devices to access company data – 43% of companies believe employees use their personal smartphones for work while in reality 63% of employees do so.

The Report illustrates that a common challenge for businesses is to align security and cyber policies more closely with employee requirements and behaviours. Employees understand their role in ensuring cyber security with 47% of staff reporting policies are followed but most say there are some types of “work rounds” used. However 42% of workers say that policies actually hinder their efficiency.

Vodafone Enterprise Cyber Security Lead Maureen Kaplan commented “There is clearly a common desire for both employees and employers to do the right thing, but a big discrepancy in understanding. This research demonstrates that businesses must create digital cyber security policies which are compatible with their workforce, not just to tick a box. The report also highlighting a link between being cyber ready and business results, understanding your employee behaviour and how to secure it across devices, locations and networks, is more important than ever in a digital world.”

The Vodafone Global Cyber Readiness Barometer was based on responses from 3,281 consumer/employees and 1,528 business IT decision makers in nine countries around the world accounting for 48% of global services GDP.