These are the biggest cybersecurity risks for your business - are you protected?

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The last few years have seen a seismic shift in how many of us work, with flexible or hybrid policies now the norm for many businesses. But as the threat landscape widens, how do you identify and stay on top of the latest security threats?

STX Next recently surveyed over 500 CTOs from around the globe to produce its own exhaustive report into the issues keeping them awake at night. The Global CTO Survey 2021 asked more than 70 questions covering a range of technological subjects, from hiring to future technology choices, but highlighted a number of striking findings when it comes to security practices.

As Europe’s largest software development company specializing in Python, boasting a global team of over 500 experts and a client list including the likes of Mastercard, Unity, Hogarth and Verisk, STX Next is at the forefront of the latest trends and issues facing CTOs today. The company offers a range of services across the whole development process, from product design to QA to machine learning, but what else did its report into the security challenges facing CTOs find?

To begin with, security isn't always a key concern, despite the myriad of threats facing businesses of all sizes today. Nearly half (42%) of the CTOs surveyed for the report said their company had no cybersecurity protection at all - neither in-house nor outsourced systems, a shockingly high amount in this age of major cyberattacks.

The report found that often the smaller the business, the less likely it was to have proper cybersecurity protection, with the majority of the unprotected firms having up to 50 employees. This shows a rather lackadaisical approach to online safety, as smaller businesses often prove more attractive targets to criminals looking for a quick and easy score at a target where victims may not be as clued up on security practices. Not having a dedicated IT team, even one based off-site, can be a huge risk in today's climate, even for those companies believing themselves to be unattractive to hackers.

These findings are also particularly concerning as STX Next found that human error is often the biggest cybersecurity risk of all. Nearly two-thirds (59%) of companies reported this as the biggest security threat they face, ahead of ransomware (49%) and phishing (36%) - highlighting the importance of making sure all your employees are up to scratch when it comes to staying safe.

Despite this, the report also found that nearly half of the surveyed companies had no ransomware protection, and the majority also don't have guidelines for container security - in spite of these issues needing to be addressed as a priority to keep valuable data and information protected.

Elsewhere, the effects of hybrid working were also seen in the growth of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes, with nearly half (48%) saying their organization had such rules in place. Embracing BYOD can bring major advantages in productivity and flexibility, but can also potentially lead to greater security risks - with the report finding that of the CTOs which reported having fallen victim to an attack in the past 12 months, 42% had BYOD in place.

So you can see that it’s never been more important to make sure your business is protected, as even if you believe you aren’t at risk, that could be wrong, and possibly the most expensive mistake you’ll ever make.

If you want to find out more, download the full Global CTO Survey 2021 report here, and for all your Python development needs, make sure to think of STX Next - you can find out more on the company’s wide range of services here.