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11 Jan 2023

Operations team hit hardest by 2023 cyber-attacks

People often talk about the cost of a cyber-attack, but our research shows that disruption to operations is the biggest pain. In addition, CEOs and CTOs will be leaning heavily on their COO colleague to solve other challenges. The new year brings new thinking.

The direct cost of cyber-attacks is far better managed than ever before. Some companies now have cyber insurance, and technologies such as Extended Detection & Response ensure many attacks can be identified early and fixed automatically at a relatively low cost.

But in the modern world, being offline for just two hours can seem like a lifetime.

If you cannot service your customers for two hours, it results in complaints. If your colleagues cannot complete their work in two hours, they may miss opportunities or deadlines.

As an operations executive, you’ll find some sympathy and support in the IT department. 42% of IT execs said disruption to operations was the most significant impact of a cyber-attack – not cost.

How operations will support CEOs and CTOs in 2023

Looking forward to 2023, IT leaders have told us their top 3 challenges for the year are cybersecurity threats, supply chain shortages and limited tech talent. These all touch operations.

As already outlined, a cyber-attack will require an operational clean-up. Over 35% of UK businesses experienced some form of operational impact from a cyber-attack last year. That included downtime and loss of business continuity, making provision for tighter security as well as diverting staff from other tasks.

For businesses that report a material outcome, nearly 40% took over 24hrs to recover, and 8% took up to a week.*

But there is also serious concern about the tech supply chain. You may need more time to get the replacement equipment your IT colleagues need.

CTOs are concerned about limited tech talent, but CEOs consider it their top challenge. If recruitment and staff retention are part of your responsibility, you could have a busy year ahead.

So, how can you do more with less? How can you maximise efficiency and maintain operational integrity and security in the face of such headwinds? (Now, the good news)

Offload much of your operational burden


Whether you completely outsource your IT requirements or use outsourcing to fill skills gaps, a good MSP will dovetail their services to yours to ensure consistency of service through end-to-end cover.

That means no more loss of efficiency from staff churn, illness, holidays or maternity/paternity leave.

It means you can be sure of competence, experience and continuity, and you are not subject to surges in workload (and drops in efficiency) through seasonality or unexpected events.

It means you have a business partner with broad market awareness that can help you identify and recruit the right staff at the right time.

And it means your costs are spread, so no more budget spikes when there’s a new business imperative.

Doing more with less

Only the largest businesses with a wide IT department can keep tabs on technological advances and have the foresight, knowledge and skills to exploit those technologies fully to maximise competitiveness, productivity and efficiency.

Business partnership with an experienced and forward-thinking MSP will help you benefit from both a broad and a market-specific understanding of modern technologies. DevOps, AI, cloud migration and digital transformation can all help you forge through today’s headwinds, maximise your potential and future-proof your business.


You can throw a lot of time and human resources at cyber security and still get it wrong. It is costly and labour-intensive to maintain the skillsets necessary to keep pace with the arms race of organised crime and malicious viruses.

Most good MSPs would have the expertise, the bandwidth, the diversity of skills and the up-to-date anti-virus solutions and patches to maintain your cyber security AND respond quickly and appropriately on your behalf in the face of an attack or a breach.

Many MSPs partner with a third-party Security Operations Centre that operates 24X7 to protect your businesses. There are good reasons why 58%, 55%, and 60% of small, medium, and large UK businesses, respectively, outsource their IT and cyber security to an external supplier*.

The threats to today’s business are not going to disappear overnight, but there are more likely to be opportunities for a business that is able to offload some of its operational burdens.

*Figures sourced from Gov.UK Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022

Graham Smith

By Graham Smith