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Recent IoD research shows that UK businesses are feeling more vulnerable to cyber crime now, compared with before the pandemic. In a poll of 789 IoD members, almost one in three directors indicated that their organization is now more vulnerable to cyber crime. The sharp rise in home working due to the pandemic is the root cause of this increase in exposure says the IoD.

A previous poll of IoD members showed that nearly three quarters (74 percent) of business leaders will be maintaining increased home-working arrangements after the pandemic passes, with more than one in five reporting their usage of the workplace will be significantly lower. This more permanent role for remote and digital operations raises the long-term vulnerability of business to cyber attacks after the pandemic says the IoD.

Joe Fitzsimons, Senior Policy Advisor at the IoD said:

“Many organizations have suffered cyber attacks over the course of the pandemic, causing significant disruption, loss of revenue and in many cases data theft. The potential for reputational damage can result in long-lasting consequences.

“Increased home working has made navigating cyber security all the more challenging. The rise of home working will last long beyond the pandemic, with its various benefits for both employers and employees. Minimising the risk of cyber crime will continue to be a front of mind priority for business leaders.

“Directors will continue to need support in developing a better understanding of cyber crime and the steps that can be taken to secure their digital operations. Further support in the form of access to training and tailored guidance will be key as organizations seek to minimise their risk of cyber threat.”

The survey was conducted between 18th February – 3rd March 2021 and asked the question: ‘Compared to before the pandemic, does your primary organisation feel more vulnerable or less vulnerable to cyber crime?’ Responses were as follows:

  • Significantly more vulnerable 2%
  • More vulnerable 30%
  • No change 65%
  • Less vulnerable 2%
  • Significantly less vulnerable 1%

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