UK Firms Easy Targets for Hackers, Swivel Secure Study Finds

51% of business owners are not concerned about cyber threats

By on January 17th, 2013 11:34 GMT

According to a new study released by Swivel Secure, UK companies are an easy target for hackers because many owners are not concerned about threats from cyberspace.

The figures show that 51% of business owners don’t worry too much about the security of their corporate systems. Furthermore, a quarter of them admit that they use the same username and password combination for all their accounts, including their social media and confidential corporate accounts.

The use of the same login credentials for a large number of accounts considerably increases the risks of falling victim to fraudsters, data thieves, saboteurs and even unhappy employees. Unfortunately, 4 out of 5 business owners use as many as 50 websites that require a username and password.

“Just as the government is waking up to cybercrime we discover that company bosses are half asleep. The problem is that business owners think that cybercrime is something that happens to other people, without appreciating the value of the data they hold and the motivations of people who may want to access it,” said Chris Russell, VP engineering, Swivel Secure.

“They read about security breaches at big multinational firms like Google and LinkedIn, but don’t realise that these same login details are probably also being used to access their own systems. It’s time business owners realised that usernames and passwords are actually not secure at all.”

Russell highlights the fact that it doesn’t matter if a company’s networks are protected by a powerful firewall if username and password practices aren’t according to requirements.

“The government claims cybercrime costs the UK economy £27 billion a year. That’s the equivalent of building one of Boris Johnson’s Thames Estuary airports every twelve months,” Russell added. 

“You can’t help but wonder how much of that could be saved if business owners took a few simple steps to transition to a 21st century system for authenticating users and protecting their corporate data.”

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