Companies that fail to keep pace with the latest developments in the technology world and persist with the use of legacy tools are likely to be at greater risk of falling victim to cyber security threats, a new study has found.
The Information Security Forum's Threat Horizon 2017 report found that many organisations have trouble adapting to the fast rate of change in the tech world, while they also often lack understanding about the full liability they may face if they fall victim to a data breach, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A total of nine areas of concern were highlighted by the research, such as connectivity speed, use of legacy technology and complacency from businesses as to their actual risk. Emerging threats also include the growing sophistication and collaboration of criminal cyber gangs, a dangerous level of dependence on critical infrastructure and the ability of malicious agents to weaponise systemic vulnerabilities.
Managing director of the Information Security Forum Steve Durbin said these threats reinforce the need for firms to safeguard their critical information and do more at an enterprise level to combat criminals.
This should include sharing information on threats with other companies and government agencies, as well as putting in place a response plan for when something goes wrong.
"Technology in my opinion has become something of a threat enabler. All [businesses] potentially have opportunities for crime gangs to exploit," Mr Durbin said. "All of them have the opportunity to go wrong, and when they go wrong they will go wrong quickly and we will have to respond to that. I don't think we're prepared for that yet."
But despite the threats they face, many businesses are not dedicating enough resources to meeting their technology challenges - and in many cases, this is leading to them continuing to use solutions that have become outdated.
For instance, the report highlighted the fact that many ATMs continue to rely on the Windows XP operating system. Microsoft stopped supporting this last year, meaning any newly-discovered vulnerabilities will not be patched, thereby potentially leaving anyone who uses such a machine at risk.