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UK cybersecurity fears could benefit IT contractors

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Contractors working within the IT sector may be interested to learn that cybercrime tops the list of biggest fraud concerns for UK businesses.

IT contractors with cybersecurity skills could therefore find themselves in demand as more UK based companies look to tackle online crime.

Research from EY’s 13th Global Fraud Survey has revealed that cybercrime is one of the biggest concerns for businesses in Britain, with 74% of respondents believing cybercrime to be a high risk to their organisation compared to 49% gloabally – second only to Brazil at 76%.

The report included more than 2,700 executives across 59 countries (of which 50 respondents were from the UK) 

John Smart, Head of EY’s UK Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) practice, 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.”

Smart goes on to warn, “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 research also found that businesses perceive employees to be a bigger concern (36%) than organised criminals (26%) when it comes to sources of cybercrime.

Paul Walker, Head of Forensic Technology and Discovery Services at EY, added, “The results may not necessarily indicate mistrust between employers and employees when it comes to cybercrime issues. The issue is whether employees take cybercrime as seriously as management do.”

Walker added, “Employees are sometimes seen as the weak link with individuals susceptive to phishing emails – where spoof emails are sent out in an attempt to gain passwords or confidential information, downloading viruses and transferring files to unauthorised personal devices.” 

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