Cybercrime ‘biggest threat’


The 13th Global Fraud Survey from EY (the artist formerly known as Ernst & Young) has found cybercrime to be one of the biggest concerns for UK businesses. Specifically, 74 per cent of respondents stated cybercrime to be a high risk to their organisation compared to 49 per cent globally – second only to Brazil at 76 per cent. The survey included in-depth interviews with more than 2,700 executives across 59 countries (of which 50 respondents were from the UK), including chief financial officers, chief compliance officers, general counsel and heads of internal audit. 

Globally, nearly 40 per cent of all respondents believe that bribery and corruption are widespread in their country, however this drops to 18 per cent in the UK. Despite the UK performing well on serious fraud and corruption, the survey did highlight that almost half (46 per cent) of UK executives are willing to offer corporate entertainment in order to retain business – far higher than the global average of 29 per cent.

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