Research carried out by Specops Software, using the latest government figures, have shown that food and hospitality businesses invested the least financially, at an average of just £1,080 a year.
Despite the low sum, it was still an increase of 20% from 2017-18 – when firms within the sectors were spending £900.
Specops Software found that finance and insurance firms had invested the most on cyber security, at a significant £22,050. This represented an increase of 23% from the previous year (2017-18), where finance and insurance companies were spending £17,900 on average.
Thereafter, firms in health/social care/social work invested the second-highest amount on cyber security at £16,800. From the considered sectors, it marked the biggest rise (an astronomical 506%) in cyber security spending when compared to the year before (2017-18) – where the average outlay was only £2,770.
Darren James, a cyber security expert from Specops Software, commented: “As cyber attacks/breaches become more frequent and complex, cyber security has to be a high priority for firms. Otherwise they face the huge risk of leaving their website and digital communication platforms exposed to devasting cyber-attacks/breaches.
“So key decision-makers need to carefully understand and manage their online eco-system to ensure it consistently has the adequate defences in place to protect against varying cyber threats. In addition to this, education as well as governance on cyber security for employees can play an essential role in protecting critical functions from being targeted/compromised.”
The threat of such attacks against food businesses are not without precedent, despite this seeming lack of action from industry.
In January, Food Manufacture reported that the threat of a cyber attack had prompted Premier Foods to contract international cyber security firm Cybereason to shore up its online defences.