Information security must become an ‘enabler’ rather than a barrier

Information security must become an ‘enabler’ rather than a barrier: The latest information security survey published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills makes for frightening reading. It reveals that 93% of large organisations had a security breach last year, with the “joke” being made by many that the other 7% don’t yet know that they were hacked.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that the latest advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) is that businesses need to accept that their security will be compromised and that the rectification and other costs involved are an inherent part of doing business in a digital environment.

You don’t have to make the case for taking cyber and information security seriously; almost every day there are media reports of cyber-attacks, data losses and other forms of hacking. As the UK public sector moves to becoming “digital-by-default” – to improve convenience for citizens and reduce costs – we must recognise the increased vulnerability of government and public services to cyber-attacks and poor information management, and do everything we can to ensure that individuals, businesses and government retain high levels of trust and confidence in our digital systems.

Security breaches seriously damage the reputations of public service organisations and raise real concerns about the loss or inappropriate use of citizens’ personal data. Also, concerns about data security can inhibit collaboration and data sharing, and can slow down moves to greater use of mobile and remote working.