The latest crime survey from the Office of National Statistics has for the first time estimated the extent of fraud and cybercrime in England and Wales, and UK businesses should take note warns RSM.
According to the new figures, adults aged 16 and over experienced an estimated 3.8 million incidents of fraud, with just over half of these (51 per cent) being cyber-related.
The most common types of fraud experienced were ‘bank and credit account’ fraud (2.5 million incidents), followed by ‘non-investment’ fraud, such as fraud related to online shopping or fraudulent computer service calls.
In addition, adults experienced an estimated two million computer misuse incidents, around two-thirds of which were computer virus related and around one third were related to unauthorised access to personal information, including hacking.
Commenting on the findings, David Morris, Technology Assurance Director at RSM said:
'These latest official statistics should be a warning for businesses across the UK that cybercrime isn’t some remote existential threat. It’s very real and it’s affecting individuals and businesses up and down the country.
'While many cyber threats have been around for some time, the National Crime Agency warned earlier this month that cybercrime activity is evolving fast, and threats from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks are becoming much more common.
'While it may not be possible for businesses to protect themselves from all threats, it’s absolutely vital that they practice good, basic risk management and ensure their staff are fully engaged and alert to the dangers.'