The advent of the GDPR is changing the data security landscape for companies – 80 per cent of UK firms have changed their approach to cyber security since the regulation was introduced, according to insurer Hiscox in its third annual Cyber Readiness Report.

GDPR has focused businesses’ minds on security issues generally. The report makes it clear that cyber security is a growing problem for a wide range of companies, and if we see more firms taking action, even at a low level and a relatively low cost, that is encouraging.

The firm surveyed more than 5,400 private and public sector organisations across Europe and in the US; 55 per cent of UK firms faced a cyber attack in the last year, compared with 40 per cent the previous year; overall across the study, 61 per cent of organisations said they had been targeted.

But almost three quarters of firms were ranked as "novices" in terms of cyber readiness, and spending on cyber security in the UK is lower than average. The UK and the US were least likely to have a defined role for cyber security on their staff.

However, Hiscox also found the average cost of an attack to the company hit was lower in the UK than average at $243,000, compared with $906,000 in Germany and $486,000 in Belgium.

For practical advice on how to handle a data breach, as well as expert guidance from a range of speakers on protecting your brand, how Brexit will affect GDPR and how GDPR will affect your people, come to our GDPR – One Year On event at Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel, Tewkesbury, on May 14; details are on our website.

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