Security concerns in the UK have ‘increased significantly’

UK consumers reported a 40% increase in security-related concerns since 2014, according to the new Unisys Security Index that surveyed consumers in April 2017 in 13 countries around the world. The global study gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide-range of security-related issues.

UK respondents reported increasing concern in all four categories of the core survey: national, financial, internet and personal security. The biggest increases in concern were related to national and internet security – which rose 66% and 50%, respectively. Which, given the increasing terror and cyber attacks, this should come as no surprise.

>See also: The state of IT security in UK businesses

Since 2014, concern has increased across all core Unisys Security Index survey categories of financial (up 29%) and personal (up 23%) security. The highest ranking security concerns, as mentioned, relate to national security, war or terrorism, with 52% of respondents claiming they are extremely or very concerned about the terror threat in the UK.

Identity theft registered second behind concerns about terrorism as the issue with the highest levels of concern, with 50% of respondents saying they are extremely or very concerned about the safety of their personal data.

Bankcard fraud continues to rank as one of the top security concerns in the UK, with 48% of those surveyed extremely or very concerned. A lower percentage of respondents registered concerns about meeting financial obligations, with 37% citing serious worries over meeting significant payments such as mortgages or rent.

>See also: Severe: the security risk to UK mobile app users

Overall concern around internet security, which measures fears around viruses, hacking and online transactions, rose dramatically, up by 50% since 2014. Despite the significant increase, UK concerns relating to internet security are 13% lower than the global average. In relation to demographic splits in the UK, concern is 22 points higher among women (155) than men (133), and 26 points higher among those with lower income (155), than with higher income (129).

Salvatore Sinno, chief security architect, Unisys, said: “Factors such as terror attacks, high profile cyber attacks and the rising cost of living are all outside the public’s control and they are major contributing factors to the Unisys Security Index registering record levels of concern in the UK. Steps to advise and protect the public, such as the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre, are moves in the right direction, but we need joined up thinking across the public and private sectors to ensure the public are aware of risks, know how to avoid threats and act as securely as possible.”

>See also: UK companies failing to educate employees on cyber security

The Unisys Security Index scale runs from 0 – 300, where 0 represents no concern and 300 represents extreme concern. Overall the UK’s Index score is at a record high of 144, up 41 points from 2014’s survey.

The global study gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security-related issues, with the core survey categories – Internet (150), Financial (147), Personal (141) and National (136) – all registering record highs in 2017. The global average Index score stands at 173 from the 13 countries surveyed, with the Philippines scoring highest (243) and the Netherlands lowest at 125.


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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