Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
October 27, 2016

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Want a Future-Proof Cyber Security Strategy? Look at Physical Security Now

Nearly one in two European consumers have fallen prey to cyber criminals

The cybercrime  problem could be worse than official statistics suggest, research from MarkMonitor has found.

Nearly one in two (45%) European consumers have been a victim of some form of cybercrime, the poll revealed.

The survey of 3,457 consumers across the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands also revealed that 65% of victims decided against reporting the incident to authorities, suggesting that official crime statistics underplay the problem considerably.

One in six victims have lost funds to online fraud, with 20% losing more than £1,000.


Accounting for 20% of all such crimes, the most common type of fraud was false requests to reset social media account passwords, closely followed by emails attempting to solicit personal information under the false pretense that they are legitimate companies (17%).

Around one in five victims (21%) apportioned at least some blame to the brand involved, while 71% agreed that major hacks damaged an organisation’s reputation, 65% thought it diminished trust in the brand and 53% didn’t expect victims would engage with the brand in future.

Trustworthy channels

The research, which was conducted by Opinium across August and September 2016, found that mobile banking apps and online shopping websites were rated by consumers as the most trustworthy channels, by 52% and 50% respectively. Social media channels (16%) and social media advertising (14%) were the least trusted channels.

Most (87%) consumers professed to be aware of the dangers of transacting online, tactics used by cyber criminals and took a number of precautions when online. The most common precaution taken by consumers was to limit the entry of personal details to websites of familiar brands (54%), followed by checking for https or padlock symbol in the Web address bar (50%).

Nevertheless, the survey suggests that an education gap exists among the public, with 37% admitting that they didn’t even know what the Dark Web was.

“Cybercrime is affecting both brands and consumers, and is only set to rise as our use of the internet increases,” says Mark Frost, CEO, MarkMonitor. As a result there needs to be a multi-layered approach to online brand protection, to ensure customer trust, reputation and bottom line are maintained.

“This research demonstrates that consumers are not only aware of the severity of cybercrime and the tactics employed, but also the effects these attacks have on the brands themselves. Yet despite these high levels of awareness, they are still falling victim to cybercrime.

“As the sophistication of cyber attackers rises and criminals make more use of underground sites, such as those found on the Dark Web, it is critical that brands look at every method of protection and consider all threat vectors in order to ensure they can protect every aspect of their business and keep their customers safe.”

Click here for the full research report. 


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