One Fifth of UK Consumers Hit By Cyber Crime Says New Survey

The latest Deloitte Cyber Crime Survey shows that more of us may have been affected by cyber crime than was previously thought. One alarming statistic in the report is that that as many as one fifth of UK consumers suffered a cyber attack where personal details had been stolen and their bank accounts had been used by online criminals.
As an IT Support Company in Hertfordshire we know that an increasing number of businesses in this area alone are seeking help with their online and data security, and this new survey figure does appear to be one that reflects the reality of what is now a much more risky online environment that all of our businesses operate in. Whether you are in Hertfordshire or Hawaii it is now clear to most of us that cyber attacks can be committed by persons on the other side of world just as quickly and easily as someone in the same building. In many cases companies don’t even know that their data has been stolen until long after the event, by which time the data is likely to have been sold to other cyber criminals.

Do You Really Know Who Has Your Data?

When you think about how many times you have submitted your personal details online, coupled with the fact that much more data is now stored online it’s easy to begin to see the scale of the risks we all face. One fact that is reflected by the Deloitte Cyber Crime Survey results is that most of us (53%) really don’t know what personal details organisations have been collected about us, and by whom. This means that we are therefore all at greater risk than ever before of becoming victims of some form of cyber crime.

A Business-Wide Issue

Cyber Crime is now a business-wide rather than just an IT issue. More online transactions by all of us mean more transactional data for us to protect, and for criminals to target. More regulations have been introduced to improve security standards, and the cost of protecting a business against cyber crime is increasing. All of these factors therefore mean more challenges for businesses, whether they’re in Wigan or Washington.

UK Businesses More Aware of the Risks

An EY Global Fraud Survey from June last year indicated that at least UK businesses appear to be more aware of cyber crime as 74% of UK respondents said that they believed it to be a high risk to their organisations, compared to 49% in other countries.

The Lessons For UK Businesses

The lessons of the recent high profile cyber attacks and the surrounding publicity and after effects are that:

  • Consumers care about what companies do with their data, and they may be less inclined to trust companies with that data, and less likely to share as much information about themselves online unless they’re sure it’s necessary and / or unless they feel they can trust a company with it.
  • Cyber crime can be very damaging to a company’s brand because it can destroy consumer trust in a company that has suffered a breach where customer and staff data has been stolen.
  • Businesses need to know what and where their data assets are and make sure they’re protected.
  • Businesses should work hard to retain consumer confidence by re-assuring them about security on their websites, and by being transparent about how their data is collected and used.
  • All staff in businesses should be made aware of the importance of protecting data and of the risks of cyber attack, and how they can play their part to helping prevent it.
  • New Data Protection Regulations are coming into force in 2017 so companies must work hard this year to make sure that they will be compliant. The new Regulations will give more power to consumers, so companies will need to take their security responsibilities very seriously.
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