8 out of 10 Brits worried about cybercrime, says NCSC

New research released alongside launch of new NCSC Cyber Action Plan tool

Posted 24 March 2021 by Christine Horton

More than 80 percent of British people fear themselves or their friends or family falling victim to cybercrime.

That’s according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has released new cybercrime research to coincide with the launch of a new digital tool for people to receive cybersecurity advice. The Cyber Action Plan tool has been released as part of the cross-government Cyber Aware campaign.

NCSC also reported that 58 of people are worried about their money being stolen online, 53 percent about having their personal details stolen online and 48 percent about their devices being infected by viruses or malware.

Those aged 25 to 34 years old are most worried – with 86 percent revealing their concerns.

“The last year has shown us the great value online technology brings to us all – but people are right to be wary that cyber criminals could look to take advantage of our increasingly digital lives,” said NCSC director for policy and communications, Nicola Hudson.

“We can protect ourselves from the majority of cybercrime by following the six practical Cyber Aware steps and the newly launched Cyber Action Plan will help people to personalise this advice.”

Alistair Cromwell, acting chief executive of Citizens Advice said the organisation has seen a huge increase in people seeking help with online scams since the pandemic began. “If you need help identifying an online scam, Citizens Advice’s online Scams Action tool can help you,” he said.

Attacks on education

Elsewhere, the NCSC has issued an alert in response to an increase in cyberattacks on the education sector.

It noted that there has been a surge in ransomware attacks affecting education establishments in the UK since late February 2021.

The NCSC first issued an alert last year after a spate of attacks on the UK education sector during August and September 2020. Similarly, research by Barracuda Networks research revealed that more than 1,000 schools, colleges and universities globally were targeted by over 3.5 million spear-phishing attacks from June through to September 2020.

The NCSC has released guidance on ‘Mitigating malware and ransomware’ which includes several steps that organisations can take to disrupt ransomware attack vectors and enable effective recovery from ransomware attacks.

“It is also important that senior leaders understand the nature of the threat and the potential for ransomware to cause considerable damage to their institutions in terms of lost data and access to critical services,” it said.