With the rise of digitalization, terms such as cryptocurrencies and remote working are becoming increasingly commonplace and the need to secure our online economy has never been greater. Threats are not only growing in numbers but are becoming increasingly varied and intelligent, targeting private individuals, companies and government institutions. The ever-evolving cybersecurity sector has been geared to tackle these threats – all in the name of keeping data and systems safe. With over 365 thousand IT professionals on board, the United Kingdom is home to the largest cybersecurity workforce in Europe . The British industry is also the fourth largest in the world, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico. In 2020, the majority of registered cybersecurity firms were those offering cyber professional services, followed by threat intelligence – including monitoring, detection and analysis. On the other hand, there were only 66 firms specializing in employee training and education that year, a sector that is bound to grow following the recent shift to remote work and COVID-19.

What types of cybercrimes have users experienced?

From data theft to cryptojacking, the spectrum is broad when it comes to the types of cyberattacks encountered. One of the most common crimes experienced within the UK, for instance, was fraudulent emails and calls demanding personal details such as banking information . Meanwhile, a classic scenario, identity theft, was almost never experienced . When it comes to user education and training within the cybersecurity domain, there is clearly still room for growth. Only 26 percent of those surveyed said they were completely confident when it came to protecting themselves against cybercrime , and a mere 23 percent claimed they felt very well informed on the matter .

Users don’t trust organizations to keep their data safe

How do British users feel about online privacy, and what are their main concerns? A survey conducted in mid-2020 found that the majority worried about having their personal information passed on to third parties - either through said information being sold to others, or via data breaches. Of such incidents, one of the most notable in recent years has been the infamous Yahoo! data breach in which 3 billion user records were compromised . Having their personal devices hacked, in the meantime, was of relatively low concern to most users. This sentiment was echoed in a more recent 2021 survey, during which over 70 percent claimed it was important to them to have more control over how their data was shared . Moreover, trust in state organizations is low with 68 percent saying they did not trust authorities to keep their personal information secure.

Live sport is the most pirated type of online content

Consumers are not entirely innocent, however. Digital content, as it turns out, was consumed illegally by roughly 20 percent of British internet users . The highest share of this was carried out with live sport, followed by digital magazines. Interestingly, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown has also done little to sway consumer’s trust regarding the storing and sharing of personal information by companies – over 70 percent said their feelings from prior to lockdown had not changed.


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