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Ransomware

47% of employees in Marketing lacking cyber security skills

Cyber security remains one of the most challenging issues for business owners – large and small. And it seems data breaches cost UK enterprises an average of $3.88million per breach – according to IBM. 

And considering much of the global workforce is now remote, it has never been more important for employees to be cyber aware. 

Specops Software recently found that Clickjacking is the most common form of hacking in education at 66%. Whilst Phishing was extremely prevalent among other key industries at 71%.

This prompted the company to investigate the industries without sufficient cyber security training by surveying 1,342 businesses across 11 sectors across the UK. 

On average, just 41% of employees across all sectors surveyed have not been provided adequate cyber security training. 

It is perhaps unsurprising that those working in Travel and Hospitality have not been adequately trained against cyber threats (84%). It comes after EasyJet was recently targeted in a serious cyber-attack whereby email addresses and travel details for around 9 million customers was breached. 

In second place is Education and Training. 69% of respondents who work in this industry claim they have not been trained sufficiently against cyber threats – a worrying statistic as breaches compromise student and staff safety. In fact, cyber attacks have been increasing year-on-year as more instances are reported, with four key reasons attackers target educational institutions: DDoS attacks, Data theft, financial gain, and espionage. 

Other key industries that have not provided sufficient training include Marketing, Advertising and PR (47%), Medical and Health (42%) and Charity and Voluntary Work with 29%. 

Understandably, the sectors with far more stringent cyber security training processes include Legal Services (16%) and Recruitment and HR (19%). 

Specops also sought to find out if the level of cyber security training had changed since the beginning of COVID-19.

Out of the 1,342 respondents, the results revealed the following:  

  • I have been trained a lot more since COVID-19 – 21%
  • I have been trained a little more since COVID-19 – 37%
  • I have not been trained since COVID-19 – 42%
Business Sector% of businesses that have since implemented cyber security training sessions since COVID-19 
Education and Training76%
Medical and Health65%
Computer and IT39%
Travel and Hospitality37%
Customer Service23%
Creative Arts and Design22%
Charity and Voluntary Work15%
Marketing, Advertising and PR13%
Legal Services13%
Accountancy, Banking and Finance10%
Recruitment and HR8%

Specops Software found on average just 29% of business sectors have initiated additional cyber security training. 

94% of respondents claimed it was the responsibility of their company to keep them up to date with cyber security training, whilst 79% could not identify if they were hacked.

To further complement the survey, Specops Software’s Cyber Security Expert Darren James has provided some expertise:

  1. Why is it important for all employees to be trained?

The fact of the matter is that you can put as many security systems and procedures in place as you wish, but usually the weakest link is always the human being involved. Providing cyber security training is essential. Subjects such as password hygiene, email scam/phishing/malware awareness, social media usage etc. are important and the more attention we can bring to it via training at work, the less likely people in general will fall victim to these crimes.

2. Should companies integrate training on a regular basis and how often?

Generally, it’s a good idea to provide basic training to everyone, and to all new employees, so everyone is at least on the same page. Then, it is a good idea to promote awareness through the use of a good password policy, and maybe when IT experience interactions with users e.g. service desk/desktop support etc. provide further reminders where appropriate. Some “high risk” users such as IT admins, HR and finance teams should have regular awareness training.

3. What can companies do to ensure training is kept up to date, especially now everyone is working from home? 

Working from home represents another challenge when providing training. You can send emails out or put something on an extranet/intranet page, but let’s be honest not many people are going to willingly go and look. Try arranging a “working from home cyber security awareness” call if possible – whether it is per team, or with team managers who can then pass on key information. 

Please see the full research here: https://specopssoft.com/blog/uk-business-sectors-lacking-cyber-security-training/

The Evolution of the Chief Marketing Officer

By Yogesh Shah, CEO of iResearch Services

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has changed dramatically in the last few years. What started as a role primarily based on market research, advertising and brand management, quickly evolved into a role focused on customer experience and data analytics, with key emphasis on supporting other members of the C-Suite to define the purpose of the business by providing insight into what the customer needs, rather than what the business assumes it should sell. Whilst many of these elements remain the same, the role of the CMO has now become far more complex.

Changes to content consumption, consumer and organisational behaviour, the rise of social media and worldwide disruptions such as Covid-19 have meant that many marketing strategies have been given a makeover, creating new priorities and responsibilities for CMOs as a result. 

As a valuable part of the C-Suite, the importance of the CMO role is not up for debate. Establishing a brand identity and a clear space in the market will always remain a priority, but where should CMOs now start as they navigate the new landscape?

Traditional vs digital media 

Change is all around us, but it isn’t just a result of this year’s events. One of the biggest drivers of this change is the shift in the use of media. The world has rapidly moved from the use of traditional media to have a heavy focus on digital; a change which has now become a permanent part of media and content consumption.

In the U.S. alone, digital ad spend has climbed up to $151 billion in 2020, significantly more than the combined $107 billion that traditional marketing has garnered. These figures are even more impressive when considering that in 1999, digital ads only had a $4.79 billion cap while the traditional market enjoyed as much as $94 billion at the time.

Bringing it back to the changes we’ve seen this year, CMOs are also now contending with audiences that have less, or no, commuting time and therefore have longer to consume content in different formats; will we see the rise of longer-form, data-driven content consumption? User-generated content has also become extremely prominent in many marketing and content strategies; turning to the end-user to show first hand the benefits or applications of the product or service in real-time.

With more changes undoubtedly on the horizon, traditional marketing should not be discarded. After all, many consumers claim that they have a longer-lasting impression of TV ads than they do with digital ads. The CMO therefore needs to be ready to adapt, with an open mind towards bringing back the methods of the past to meet consumer needs.

Data-driven campaigns 

The need for advanced research has also greatly changed the role of the CMO. In the past, CMOs have needed to rely purely on gut feeling, however the maturity of the market has shown that data is needed to back up these gut feelings for guaranteed success.

Furthermore, advances in technology such as big data and artificial intelligence have made their way onto the CMO’s evolving list of responsibilities. With a data-centric approach, CMOs can use the large volumes of analytics to their advantage and identify actionable patterns, trends and behaviours to use within their content and campaigns. By forecasting trends and building strategies based on concrete insights, CMOs are now able to create the next best campaign that not only resonates with the intended audience, but that creates a need the consumer might not have even been aware they had.

Taking this one step further, CMOs can integrate this data into their campaigns themselves. For a B2B audience, a CMO can create compelling, data-driven thought leadership content to demonstrate how much they understand their audience, building a relationship as a result. Acknowledging that decision-makers may still be working from home with no morning commute and therefore more time to read an industry-led report, could well be a winning strategy for CMOs to implement as businesses continue to navigate through these unprecedented times.

The future of the CMO

Research shows that 88% of organisations agree that the role of the CMO has changed in the past two years alone. These organisations also believe that the role of the CMO will continue to change.

No matter how you look at it, the CMO of today is not what you used to know. And, as the introduction of new technology continues to accelerate and ‘digital’ becomes the norm, the role of the CMO won’t stop evolving any time soon.

The CMO position is set to become even more varied than it is now, with different responsibilities and job role requirements that will make the position unique to each organisation, depending on what other roles they have within both their C-Suite and the rest of the marketing team. For example, if an organisation has a CDO, Chief Data Officer, then data analytics, reporting and strategy might not be part of the CMO’s role; but if there isn’t a CDO, then the CMO will likely be responsible for data as well as other aspects within the wider marketing strategy too.

Regardless of differing responsibilities, organisations will require CMOs to apply insight to their strategies to ensure they address wider business challenges. As a result, CMOs will no longer work in isolation but will be part of the organisation’s vision of growth and market leadership. Working in harmony with other members of the C-Suite and their own team, CMOs will be – and are – instrumental in bridging the gap between customer data and the strategy that needs to be executed as a result of that data. However, with so many responsibilities, the CMO will need a strong and structured team around them to provide support.

It’s time for CMOs to embrace the ‘new normal’, consider how they can use new – or traditional – methods to reach their new audience and to remember that data is key: both to reach their target audience and within the campaign itself.

UK marketers lacking in essential skills, new research claims…

A recent industry test developed by the Digital Marketing Institute has discovered that just seven per cent of UK-based marketing professionals hold the proficient skills required – with the average participant scoring just 37 per cent in a test where 60 per cent marked ‘entry-level’ competency.

Welcoming participants from all over the world, the results were detailed in a report and showed the significant differences and similarities between nations; where the UK was in line with marketers in Ireland and the US (both scoring an average of 38 per cent). UK marketing professionals scored the lowest in display advertising and email marketing, meanwhile scoring the highest in digital strategy.

Founder and director of the Digital Marketing Institute, Ian Dodson, expressed his disappointment in the report’s findings: “People are at the heart of the digital economy globally, but if their basic skills sets are not keeping pace with digital developments, the economy may be storing up problems for the future.”

He continued: “It raises question marks over the sturdiness of the UK’s digital economy and its ability to maintain its current growth rates over the medium term. In the post-Brexit era, it will be imperative that the UK is able to hold its own fiscally. Addressing the skills deficit in the area of digital marketing is an obvious challenge for the UK in this regard.”

A surprising conclusion from the report demonstrated older marketers slightly out-performed their younger counterparts when it came to mediums such as mobile skills; as marketers over the age of 50 scored 38 per cent, those between 34 and 49 scored 37 per cent, and under 34’s scored 31 per cent.

 

Download the full report here