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Cyber crime biggest concern for UK businesses

Nearly three-quarters of UK businesses concerned about cyber crime, compared to almost half globally

UK BUSINESSES see cybercrime as a bigger threat than their international counterparts, according to data from EY’s Global Fraud Survey.

In all, 74% of UK respondents stated this area poses a high risk to their organisation, compared to 49% globally.

British businesses are also more concerned with the cyber threat from their own employees (36%) than from organised crime (26%).

Despite the UK performing better than average globally on serious fraud and corruption, 14% of UK businesses still reported a significant fraud in the last two years and 18% of executives consider bribery and corruption to be widespread. And while the UK Bribery Act was recently brought in, 46% of respondents in the UK agree it is acceptable to offer entertainment to retain business compared to 29% internationally.

EY’s UK head of fraud investigation & dispute services John Smart said: “The rest of the world is playing catch up with the UK in recognising cybercrime as a serious threat. High-profile cybercrime incidents and a number of government initiatives may have played an important role in ensuring high awareness of this issue amongst business leaders here in the UK.

“The conversation now needs to move onto how businesses respond to these dangers. Awareness is just the beginning and business leaders need to ensure robust incident response strategies are in place. When a data breach does occur, many companies fail to investigate how and why an attack has taken place, which can leave networks compromised and exposed as the full extent of the breach is never uncovered.”

The survey included interviews with more than 2,700 executives across 59 countries, including chief financial officers, chief compliance officers, general counsel and heads of internal audit. Of those executives, 50 respondents were from the UK.

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