One in five businesses suffered a cyber-attack last year

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Consumer confidence is suffering as a result of high-profile cyber crime (Source: Getty)

Businesses are being urged to tighten up their online security, as a new survey by management consultancy Oliver Wyman revealed that 43 per cent of consumers are concerned about cyber crime. As many as 37 per cent of users say they would consider going “off grid” to better protect their personal data.

The lack of consumer confidence comes as it emerged today that one in five British companies fell victim to cyber-attacks in the last year, according to a survey released today by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC).

One in five businesses (21 per cent) also said that they believed the threat of cyber-attacks was holding back growth, while only a quarter have cyber security accreditation in place.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC, said: “Cyber-attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses but costs from disruption to their business and productivity.”

The Oliver Wyman survey supported this outlook, as companies which are perceived to be insecure prompted high levels of mistrust in consumers.

Trust was particularly poor for technology companies including search engines, with 37 per cent of people saying they do not trust them with their personal information. A further 31 per cent said they do not trust supermarkets and 27 per cent were wary of mobile phone operators.

Only 11 per cent, however, said that they did not trust financial services online.

Chris McMillan, a partner at Oliver Wyman Labs, said that the growing unease about digital security showed that “businesses need to do more to protect private data, and educate consumers on what the data they collect is being used for.”

He added: “The recent passing of the Investigatory Powers Act, as well as news about new data breaches will only bring this worry into greater focus.”

From May 2018, all businesses who use personal data will have to ensure they are compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

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