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Remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to rapidly provision adequate tools and cybersecurity. 

However, a UK survey reveals that most IT and technology businesses in the country have done little to bolster their own cyberdefenses. More than half of IT and technology firms in the sector (59%) say their budgets are still insufficient to cover their cybersecurity needs.

According to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute and commissioned by Keeper Security, over two thirds (69%) of UK technology companies suffered a cyberattack last year, with almost half (47%) claiming the severity of these attacks has increased over the period. Despite the nature of the technology sector, specialist expertise in cybersecurity remains scarce, with the majority of UK tech firms (61%) stating that they are without the necessary in-house expertise.

The extraordinary conditions created by lockdowns – remote working and the use of unmanaged devices – heightened this level of risk, with 45% of respondents blaming the conditions caused due to Covid-19 as affecting businesses’ online security. 

Remote working also made it harder for IT teams to respond to attacks, with half of UK tech firms (51%) stating the time taken to respond to cyberattacks has increased during lockdowns. 

As a result, 43% have experienced an incident involving the loss of sensitive information about customers, prospective customers or employees, with 32% of cases having an estimated financial impact at over £175,000 per attack. Yet, while hackers, unmanaged IT equipment and the sudden imposition of remote working have been among the key causes of blame – nobody had a business continuity plan amid a global pandemic. 

Despite the growing number of high-profile attacks on prominent technology companies, a worrying 64% still don’t require the use of a password manager for employees in a remote working environment, as reported by