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Cyber-attacks remain chief concern for businesses

Discover the latest insights from Cifas, highlighting the growing concern of cyber attacks among corporate businesses.

Research from UK-leading fraud prevention service, Cifas, has revealed that nearly three-quarters (73%) of UK corporate businesses believe that cyber-attacks pose the biggest fraud threat to their organisation over the next 12 months.

However, despite fraud costing billions of pounds to UK businesses each year and it being the most common crime – accounting for over 40% of all offences in England and Wales – 8% of respondents said they were ‘not concerned about any type of fraud’ for the coming year.

Surveying key decision-makers responsible for training staff within large UK corporates, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed admitted that cyber-attacks remained a growing concern – a crime which UK businesses experienced just over two million times during 2022-23.

As hybrid working and remote-first operations continue to be the norm for many organisations, having appropriate counter-fraud measures and internal controls in place that ensure workforces are protected, regardless of location, is critical. Additionally, making sure that employees were not targeted by fraudsters – for example to disclose sensitive information in exchange for cash – remained a concern for just over half (54%) of those surveyed.

Despite the fraud threats associated with increased home working, the risk of insider threat was only a concern for 42% of respondents, with the same percentage worried about supplier fraud.

Commenting on the findings, Rachael Tiffen, Director of Learning for Cifas, said: “The harm fraud can have on an organisation is often underestimated, yet far-reaching and can result in devastating, long-lasting repercussions that many businesses struggle to recover from.

“While large corporates know it is vital to tackle the increasing threat of fraud, they must have the operations and investment in place to enable their workforces to better understand the impact fraud can have, and the ripple-effect it can cause throughout their organisation. Equipping staff with the specialist tools and knowledge to identify ever-evolving, modern-day fraud threats confidently and accurately can prove to be business critical.

“Fraud is everyone’s business. Corporates that embrace an anti-fraud culture and prioritise prevention training will not only better protect their employees – often the frontline of their enterprises – but also safeguard customers and wider stakeholders, as well as defend against further financial and reputational losses.”

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