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UK businesses are failing to protect themselves against the threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches due to a lack of IT resources, with 74% of UK businesses do not think their company is doing enough, according to research from Office Depot.

Of those surveyed, 81% stated that they would benefit from having more time and resources to address these risks. These concerns are not unfounded; in Q2 of 2016, four in five FTSE 100 companies were victim to potentially malicious domain registrations.

Concerns about cyber security and data breaches are not unfounded; in Q2 of 2016, four in five FTSE 100 companies were victim to potentially malicious domain registrations, enabling fraudsters to create dummy websites that can be used to trick users into supplying private data.

With the IT industry in the midst of a widespread skills shortage, poor allocation of resources seems to be the root cause of this issue. On average, IT managers say that over a third of their time is consumed by dealing with low-level hardware and software issues, such as fixing printing equipment, document recovery and troubleshooting, meaning that insufficient time is devoted to more complex tasks such as data security.

In total, the allocation of these low-level tasks to senior IT professionals costs businesses in excess of £4.2billion each year. This figure could be spent on addressing core business risks if resource were better managed.

Rob Jones, head of managed print services at Office Depot, commented:

“Empowering senior IT staff to address the complex challenges posed by cybersecurity threats and legislation surrounding data protection must be a priority for businesses. Delegating and outsourcing low-level tasks such as management of a firm’s printing function or hardware maintenance is essential to free up time for skilled IT staff to address these risks.

“Intelligent outsourcing and procurement has numerous benefits. Time is money, and technology specialists should be encouraged to complete higher-value tasks. For business leaders, the financial benefits of outsourcing and the potentially catastrophic consequences of a cyber-attack or data breach must act as a call to action to devote greater resource to information security.

“While the financial benefits of resource management are evident, removal of low-level tasks from senior IT professionals’ job descriptions is also likely to increase job satisfaction and in turn increase staff retention. With cybersecurity hot on the agenda, the role of the IT professional has become stretched. Investing in a team and infrastructure to address evolving technology needs now will pay dividends in the long run.”