Only half of UK and Swedish companies plan to increase spend on cybersecurity
Despite acknowledging heightening risks, executives from UK and Swedish firms appear less intent on upping their investment in security measures.
52 percent of Swedish firms will increase their investment in cybersecurity protection to match an expected rise in data breaches, according to a new survey conducted by research and consultancy firm Ovum for Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO. Less than half of executives surveyed (46 percent) believe their company will have stronger cybersecurity protection in a year. Six percent even believe their cybersecurity protection will worsen in the coming year.
In the UK, just 48 percent of companies surveyed plan to increase cybersecurity spend. Only 41 percent of firms surveyed have a tested data breach response plan, compared to 52 percent in the US.
“Given the rise in data breaches, it’s surprising that less than half of the firms we surveyed are increasing their investment, or expect to have a stronger cybersecurity position in a year,” said Steve Hadaway, FICO general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “We are in a technological arms race with the criminals, and standing still will give criminals the advantage. Our survey did show that a higher percentage of financial services firms — 67 percent — plan to increase their cybersecurity investment in the next year.”
In the survey, 64 percent of senior executives responsible for security at Swedish firms said that the number of data breach attempts had risen in the last year, and 60 percent expected a further rise in the next year.
Swedish financial services firms appear the most proactive, and 80 percent said investments will increase in the coming year. In contrast, among executives in the telecommunications industry, only 38 percent said their level of investment would increase.
“Given the rise in data breaches, it’s surprising that only about half of the Swedish firms we surveyed are increasing their investment, or expect to have a stronger cybersecurity position in a year,” said Dylan Jones, Country Manager for Nordics and Baltics at FICO. “Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and it is crucial that firms stay a step ahead. The survey shows that executives in the financial services industry are taking measures to counter the growth in attacks. The telecommunications industry could benefit from following their lead.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”