SENIOR IT managers in the financial and public sectors across the UK have revealed that their biggest concerns for 2018 are sophisticated cyber threats that could compromise data and system security.

In a study from digital workplace provider Invotra, almost 80 per cent of public sector managers and 85 per cent of those in financial services saw security as their biggest priority, highlighting their need for more effective vulnerability testing. Both groups said the most notable impact of high-profile cyberattacks was greater scrutiny on their existing systems.

The financial services sector showed greater confidence when asked how well equipped their organisations were to defend against cyberattacks, with 94 per cent saying they had a strong line of defence. This compared to 88 per cent in the public sector.

Fintan Galvin, Invotra’s chief executive officer, said: “We commissioned this research to understand digital challenges facing the financial and public sectors.

“Both sectors are under pressure to modernise systems, make them accessible, and to keep pace with emerging technologies; all the while tackling sophisticated security threats.

“These are real hurdles for IT professionals today so it’s no wonder they have concerns for the year ahead.”

When public sector IT managers were asked how well they felt their sector was progressing, 44 per cent described it as “an important focus”.

However, they said the public sector was far behind the private sector.

There was greater confidence among financial services professionals, with a smaller proportion (19 per cent) feeling that their sector lagged behind others.

In the public sector, 18 per cent said digital transformation was a “buzzword” which they described as “meaningless”, and a fifth said digital transformation was too costly — which compared with 13 per cent in finance.

Galvin added: “It’s clear from our study that finance technology professionals understand the need to drive change.

“But, they are charged with providing an accessible digital workplace with meaningful results in terms of improving people’s work lives, whilst facing sophisticated security threats. And, there is, of course, pressure to do more with less.

“Organisations need to wake up and realise that enhancing digital capabilities is about enabling people and not the sole responsibility of IT departments.

“This research highlights a need for widespread buy in, and understanding of digital workplace technologies across organisations, and for proper user training.

“Without this, transforming the internal and external customer experience, is going to prove impossible.”