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Scottish businesses need to “get real” about cyber security

Posted: 20th June 2016
  • IoD and Barclays study reveals widespread under-reporting of cyber attacks in Scottish businesses
  • Barclays event demonstrates the ways cyber criminals hack into accounts and how businesses can protect themselves

In a new report, Cyber Security: Underpinning the Digital Economy, supported by Barclays” it appears that Scottish businesses are not taking cyber security seriously enough, with only a third (33 per cent) of cyber attacks being reported to the police. Research behind Cyber Security: Underpinning the Digital Economy, revealed that Scottish companies were keeping quiet even though 33 per cent of attacks resulted in interruption of business operations. The scale of the threat should not be underestimated, the business group added, with 81 per cent of firms polled saying they had been sent bogus invoices via email.

While 88 per cent of business leaders said that cyber security was important, only half (50 per cent) had a formal strategy in place to protect themselves and just one in five held insurance against an attack. In response to these figures Barclays held a Cyber Crime event for more than 40 business leaders at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on 15 June to highlight how organisations are vulnerable to online crime and to advise how to mitigate the risks.

In the last 12 months 68% of large organisations were attacked by an unauthorised outsider¹. With the average cost of a security breach in 2015 reaching £1.5m-£3.1m, the price of ignoring online crime can be very costly². However, official efforts to tackle cybercrime seem to be failing to get through to businesses, with 67 per cent of Scottish business leaders surveyed never having heard of Action Fraud Aware, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.

The full report, including the UK survey results and recommendations for how businesses can deal with the growing cyber threat³, can be downloaded here.

Barclays’ collaboration with the IoD on this report is part of the bank’s commitment to raise awareness amongst the general public of the importance of cyber security and the impact of cybercrime. Further information on how to be cyber smart can be found by going to


Simmons & Simmons 2015¹

PWC 2015²

Responses were received from 980 IoD members between 9th – 24th December 2015.³

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