Only Half of UK Businesses Can Combat Cyberattacks

In a new survey released recently, only 50% of UK companies are confident that their respective businesses would be able to combat the effects of cyberattacks.

Missing Skills for Dealing with Cyberattacks

Following on from the initial findings, IT jobs board, CW Jobs, feel that a lack of confidence from some employers to be able to contend with cyber attacks is due to a wider skills gap that currently faces the UK tech industry. When asked on several topics related to digital skills and cybersecurity, a panel of tech employees revealed that nearly a third felt they were insufficiently trained in coding, cybersecurity and cloud migration.

Delving further into the research conducted, both tech and IT workers feel that the gap in employee skills is translating to the businesses they work with, citing several different factors with supporting statistics such as:

  • 23% of those asked expressed that their business is missing key programming and cybersecurity skills.
  • 51% of IT workers when asked said that cybersecurity has not been included in their training
  • Almost 1 in 4 (23%) did not feel confident in how to handle or approach cyberattacks.

In the face of the growing threat that cyberattacks possess, it’s not just the employees that could be feeling out of their depth. Despite concerns over a lack of tech experience within businesses, the survey found that only half of employers actively looked for cybersecurity skills when hoping to fill IT related vacancies. Adding to this was the surprising statistic that only 22% of employers are currently training their existing staff in cybersecurity.

Addressing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

With the concern that businesses are not correctly preparing themselves for the possible ramifications of cyberattack, the government has now started to take several steps to attempt to address the tech skills gap within businesses. Speaking more on the changes, Dominic Harvey, Director of CWJobs mentions some of the initiatives being rolled out. “The government has started taking step to address the skills gap with plans to treble the number of computer science teachers in schools, introduce a national centre for computing and boost digital skills with the provision of distance learning courses.”

Combined with these government driven changes is a commitment from businesses to ensure their cyberattack defenses and cybersecurity are improved and continuously worked upon. Currently, 55% of UK businesses run training programmes focused on acquiring cybersecurity skills for entry-level employees who are looking to enter a different area of the business. Regarding existing employees, many companies are now attempting to retrain their current staff to cover the tech skills gap.

A Concerted Effort to Close the Gap

With both employers and government efforts being thrust behind addressing the gap, Harvey is encouraged by the joint involvement. “It’s really encouraging to see the government listened to the concerns of the tech industry and responded by putting in plans to upskill the next generation of tech employees. This is not only important for the UK to keep pace globally, but so that businesses and organisations can be adequately prepared in the event of a cyber security attack for instance.”

“Now that we have a commitment from Government – and a clearer sense of where the skills are needed in areas like coding and cybersecurity – all parties can make a concerted effort to direct the new resources where they are needed most.”

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