Mid-sized businesses in the UK are the worst performers in Europe when
it comes to managing information risk, according to newly-published research.
The conclusion is based on a survey by information management
group Iron Mountain and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The study surveyed senior
managers at 600 mid-sized (250-2,500 employees) European businesses in the UK,
France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain to compile Europe’s first Information
Risk Maturity Index.
The index was based on a set of measures that, if put in place and
frequently monitored, would help protect the information held by an
organisation. Of the six countries included, the UK consistently fared the
worst, achieving a score of only 55.08 against a target of 100. While there was
no stand-out performer in Europe, Hungary outperformed the other European
countries with the highest overall index score of 61.
“It’s a surprise that UK businesses fared so badly in this study,
particularly when high-profile data breaches receive such widespread media
attention in the UK, seriously damaging brand reputation,” saidChristian Toon,
head of information risk at Iron Mountain Europe. “The findings reveal that
though many British businesses do have a data protection and information risk
strategy in place, most fail to monitor its effectiveness. In Hungary, with its high level of ISO certification, businesses
are more likely to have training programmes, clear guidance, codes of conduct
and employee communication programmes in place. This difference underscores why
companies need to adopt a culture of Corporate Information Responsibility [CIR]. This shift is key to protecting sensitive information.”
The country is expected to survive the review, which it must do to retain its place in the European Central Bank’s asset purchase programme.
The bank believes that the battered UK currency, recently only just holding above the US$1.20 level, could be trading at US$1.36 by this time next year.
The group reports that currency fluctuations were less of a challenge to multinationals in the second quarter of 2016, but Brexit has since spelt a return to volatility.
The business group says that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU puts nearly US$600bn of investment at risk, according to a Financial Times report.