Less than 30 per cent of almost 2,000 businesses across the Caribbean have upgraded their cybersecurity as a direct result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is at a time when the scale and number of global cyber threats have increased significantly.
The increase in global cybersecurity threats is directly attributed to the fact that many companies were forced to implement remote work measures in a bid to protect their workforce from the impact of the virus. Currently, in the third year of the pandemic, many are still working remotely.
The figures were released on Thursday as Digicel Business launched its Digital Transformation Research Report and Guide, which examined the attitudes towards digital transformation and the impact the pandemic has had on businesses in this respect.
This report surveyed 1,900 businesses across the Caribbean, and through this research, Digicel Business has been able to get a better picture of where companies are on their digital transformation journey and provide some tangible ways that organisations can invest in that journey.
In addition to doing a Caribbean overview, Digicel Business also did local reports for the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Liam Donnelly, Digicel Group chief business officer said, “Cybersecurity is a hot topic globally, and it's something than can have a devastating impact on anyone, personally or professionally, you don't need to be a large company to be targeted.
“While 77 per cent of businesses surveyed across the Caribbean had accelerated their digital strategy because of the pandemic, the resulting growth from this digital transformation investment is at risk if cybersecurity isn't upgraded accordingly.”
According to Donnelly, organisations which have not taken the necessary precautions to protect their information remain vulnerable to catastrophic assaults. Globally, it is recognised that a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds, so protecting company and customer data is imperative to keep businesses operational in the face of ever-present threats.
Donnelly added, “When we decided to do this report it was because we saw an information gap in the industry with statistics specifically reflecting businesses in the Caribbean. We hope that the information in this report can serve as a guide for any entrepreneur looking at digital transformation and wondering how best to proceed.”
The report is targeted at business leaders, owners, and decision-makers who are looking to improve their understanding of digital transformation and the benefits and challenges that come along with it, especially in the current climate.