Month: October 2019

Lack of IT security training is leaving businesses open to data breaches, says Claranet research

Both technical teams and general staff need more frequent guidance on recognising and dealing with cybersecurity threats.

New research by global technology services provider Claranet has revealed that six in ten organisations (61 per cent) believe that their general workforces need much more training in cybersecurity awareness. Somewhat alarmingly, 38 per cent of respondents said that their software development teams also need a great deal more training in this area, and 29 per cent said the same is required for IT operations teams. This evidence underlines how much more needs to be done – even within technical teams – to eliminate this skills shortage and bring internal cyber awareness levels up to a point where threats can be effectively countered.

The survey was carried out by Vanson Bourne and surveyed 100 IT decision-makers from a range of UK businesses with more than 1,000 employees. According to the findings, 61 per cent of general staff have not had full IT security training. This figure is lower for software development teams (38 per cent) and IT operations teams (29 per cent), but shows that training coverage is still by no means comprehensive.

For Neil Thomas, Group Security Services Director at Claranet, this shows how businesses need to do more to increase their training capabilities and reduce the potential for human error to lead to costly data breaches.

Thomas said:

Most business leaders are aware of the need for effective cybersecurity measures to counter the constantly evolving threat landscape, but this research shows that efforts to train staff still haven’t been as effective as they could be. This is critical for all technical teams but general awareness across all business functions is also extremely important.”

The findings from the research also suggest that there is a disconnect between the faith that businesses have in their cybersecurity technology and their general awareness of the organisation’s security risk profile it is there to protect. 84 per cent of respondents said that they have confidence in their breach detection systems if company data is compromised. However, over a third (36 per cent) said that their organisation’s IT security risk profile is not well understood.

For Thomas, this suggests that some companies may be relying too heavily on technology to handle the cybersecurity burden:

It’s well-known that human error is a leading cause of data breaches. It’s insufficient to expect protection and detection technologies and services to do all the work while staff training falls short. It’s therefore crucial that all employees are fully aware of security risks. And special attention must be paid to software development and IT operations who need a more detailed understanding specific to their roles. Not only does upskilling technical staff result in an improvement in security posture, it can also lead to closer collaboration across the Development, Operations, and Security teams.”

As one of the leading training providers at the Black Hat cybersecurity conferences, we have the expertise to work closely with our customers to improve in-depth security technical awareness and skills. We use Classroom learning and labs for this but now, through a new partnership that we’re announcing with Global Learning Systems, this support has expanded with a wide range of security awareness online training products and services. By combining these two options, we can now provide more effective training solutions.”

Global Learning Systems CEO, Larry Cates, said of the partnership:

Organisations are recognising that building a true cybersecurity culture requires a continuous and comprehensive learning programme. They need multi-modal, role-specific training for every facet of their business, which is why Claranet and Global Learning Systems have joined forces.”

Thomas concluded:

Getting the right technology infrastructure and testing procedures in place is clearly a fundamental part of protecting businesses from cyber-attacks. But businesses should also remember the human element, and that’s why effective training is a crucial part of the mix.”

Claranet makes a significant leap on The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the second year running to reach 45th place

Claranet climbs 78 places in 2019 through organic growth, cementing their position among Britain’s fastest-growing privately-owned businesses.

Technology services provider Claranet has achieved the rank of 45th place in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for 2019, rising 78 places from last year and 133 places since 2017. Published yesterday, Sunday 6th October, the league table ranks the fastest-growing privately-owned businesses in the UK. Claranet’s placement in the league table for the third year in a row comes during a sustained period of growth.

Established in the UK in 1996, Claranet has developed via acquisition and organic growth to become one of the leading providers of integrated Hybrid Cloud, Networks, Managed Cyber Security, and Unified Communications services to over 6,500 customers across multiple countries (UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Benelux, and Brazil). Claranet supports these customers through a wide range of IT managed services, professional services, and training.

This year Claranet’s international growth strategy has delivered a £49 million revenue increase (up 15% on its previous financial year) to £373m. This follows moves to consolidate the company’s portfolio of services and capabilities following key acquisitions in 2017 and 2018.

Charles Nasser, founder and CEO of Claranet, commented:

Our mainly organic growth this year is due to our wider portfolio of services, international presence, and our credibility to deliver for our customers. This has resulted in Claranet becoming increasingly relevant to new mid-market, large, and enterprise customers and we have invested in staff, technology, and key strategic partnerships throughout the year to deliver this successful growth in revenue and gross profit.”

For example, a new portfolio of services we have focused on is Managed Cyber Security, which is a significant business requirement for all of our customers and an area where we have developed considerable expertise. This follows the acquisition of global ethical hacking training and penetration testing experts, NotSoSecure, last year and the acquisition of Sec-1 in the UK in 2017.”

Further consolidation opportunities continue to be found in many of the countries in which Claranet operates. Two examples are the 2018 acquisitions of Xpeppers (AWS experts in Italy) and Quinfox (Hosting experts in the Netherlands). Throughout 2019 the focus has been on establishing the continuous development of capability across the Group.

Nasser continued:

Despite our growth, we remain committed to developing the close, lasting relationships that our customers need to modernise their businesses, succeed in the long term, and achieve their own market-leading results. Our priority is always to become a trusted partner.”