Hospital closure ranks top for british cyber fears

Hospital closure ranks top for british cyber fears

It looks like WannaCry, the ransomware that crippled the NHS last year, has left a lasting impression on Brits. A recent survey by IP EXPO Manchester revealed that the closure of hospitals due to a cyber attack topped the charts as the scariest thing which could happen to the UK as a result of a cyber attack. It beat out widespread power cuts, explosions at industrial plants and tampering with the food or water supply.

But being a victim themselves of ransomware, like WannaCry, only ranked as a top fear for 5% of Brits. Instead, the British public are more scared of their identity being stolen (23%), having all their private information posted online (20%) and being spied on through a webcam (19%). The latter prompting a far stronger reaction from women than men, 12% more women than men noted it as their biggest cyber fear.

Comedian Bennett Arron, one of the first major victims of identity theft in the UK, commented: "Having your identity stolen, is an awful, stressful and intimate invasion of your life. Having to convince banks, companies and the police that you are you and not the person pretending to be you is soul-destroying. But don't take my word for it, ask Bennett Arron..."

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology isn’t helping to alleviate the cyber security worries people have. In fact, 85% of Brits are concerned about cyber criminals using AI to carry out their work, whilst 88% believe cyber criminals will be more dangerous if they use AI, with 15% stating that they will be unstoppable.

Tackling modern day cyber criminals isn’t easy. Despite significant moves from the government to tackle cybercrime, with public initiatives and the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre, only 11% of Brits believe the UK government is doing enough to tackle cybercrime – a belief which is far higher amongst men than women (19% v 6%)

It’s not just the government which has a responsibility to tackle cybercrime. Brits also rank Internet Service Providers (ISPs) (19%) and themselves (19%) as most responsible for preventing cybercrime. Younger generations are more likely to take that responsibility themselves, with 22% of under 25s stating they have the ultimate responsibility, by contrast 28% of over 55’s put the ultimate responsibility on ISPs.

“In the last 12 months we’ve seen some of the world’s biggest cyber attacks take place. But with cyber criminals constantly looking for new ways to get one up, on both individuals and organisations, the list of cyber fears many people have is growing. Despite many people viewing cybercrime as their own responsibility, organisations also have their role to play and need to do as much as possible to help protect their customers from the current cybercrime tidal wave,” comments Bradley Maule-ffinch, EMEA Portfolio Director at IP EXPO Event Series.

Maule-ffinch continues: “At IP EXPO Manchester 2018, we’ll be bringing together some of the world’s most well regarded experts in cyber security from across industry and government to help organisations better understand modern cyber security challenges and how to address them.”