The four biggest concerns UK investors are worried about

Marina Gerner
28 February 2018

A new survey reveals what investors see as the biggest threats to UK businesses.

Cyber attacks are the biggest threat to UK business in the eyes of investors, who are extremely concerned about the potential impact they can have, according to new research.

Just over four in 10 investors (43%) named cyber attacks as a top concern in the last annual investor survey by PwC, which had a small sample size of 348 UK online respondents.

The next biggest concerns for UK investors are populism (38 per cent), the speed of technological change (36 per cent) and protectionism (36%). 

A string of other high profile cyber attacks on businesses as well as the NHS, provoked fears that criminals may now turn to online trading platforms and other financial institutions.  

Last summer, credit report giant Equifax admitted that almost 700,000 UK consumers are likely to have had their personal details accessed following a cyber-attack on the firm.

This January, Ciaran Martin, head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, warned that a major cyber-attack on the UK is a matter of ‘when, not if’. He mentioned the prospect of devastating disruption to British elections and critical infrastructure such as energy supplies.

Hilary Eastman, head of global investor engagement at PwC, says: ‘If businesses can clearly demonstrate the actions they’re taking to combat investors’ concerns, they’re more likely to be able to attract long term investment.’ 

While it remains paramount for businesses to find ways of protecting themselves against cyber-attacks, individuals can take steps too.

The Government’s Cyber Aware campaign recommends the following basic steps for individuals to protect themselves:

Install the latest software and app updates:

  • They contain vital security updates which help protect your device from viruses and hackers
  • Security updates are designed to fix weaknesses in software and apps which could be used by hackers to attack your device. Installing them as soon as possible helps to keep your device secure  
  • You can choose to install updates at night when you are asleep and your device is plugged in or set your mobile or tablet to automatically update your apps when you are connected to Wi-Fi and an update is available 
  • You can also set laptops and desktops to automatically install software updates when an update is available

Use a strong, separate password for your email account:

  • Hackers can use your email to access many of your personal accounts, by asking for you password to be reset, and find out personal information, such as your bank details, address or date of birth, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft or fraud
  • Having strong, separate passwords for your most important accounts means that if hackers steal your password for one of your less important accounts, they can’t use it to access your most important ones

This article first appeared on our sister website Money Observer

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