More than half of UK employees are worried about cyber security levels at work

With just under a third of UK businesses (32%) suffering from a cyber-attack in the last year 1, we've conducted some new research which has revealed that more than half (55%) of UK employees are worried about the level of their employer’s cyber security. Young people (aged 16–24) in particular, are concerned about their employer’s cyber security, compared to 37% of employees aged 55 and over.

A further one in five (20%) employees report that they only receive cyber awareness training once a year or less, despite 89% of employees saying they believe the cyber security level in their company is ‘strong’ – indicating that businesses may have a training gap.

High expectations

Nearly two fifths (37%) of employees feel their employer could be doing more to ensure the cyber security of systems at work. This comes as the National Cyber Security Centre reports that cyber insurance uptake is still relatively low, with fewer than two fifths of businesses (37%) being insured against cyber security risks, despite the very real possibility of a cyber incident2.

Low confidence

More than a quarter of employees (25%) claim they are neither engaged nor unengaged with the cyber security controls in their business, suggesting a level of apathy among the workforce, which is the first line of cyber defence in a business.

In addition, just 32% of employees say they consider the level of cyber security in their organisation to be ‘very strong’, a trend that is mirrored by businesses themselves. Our Risk Insights Report, released at the start of the year, revealed that just over half (53%) of UK businesses are confident in the effectiveness of their cyber security protection. 

Stephen Ridley, Head of Cyber, commented:
“It’s concerning to see that over half of UK employees say they worry about cyber security at work. We know that employees are the first and most important line of defence against cyber security incidents, so awareness of training, confidence and engagement are vital.

Cyber cover offers an added layer of security and peace of mind for businesses, but it’s important that training and resources for cyber preparedness are prioritised. Real-world scenarios that highlight the potential reputational and financial risks associated with a cyber incident can help employees understand the important role they play in protecting the business.

Our cyber cover offers access to specialist partners who provide training and solutions to help improve cyber management and implementation strategies. Prevention is, after all, better than the cure - and embedding a cyber resilient culture requires board-level commitment along with investment in resources to effectively monitor and evaluate training gaps”.

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Research was conducted by Censuswide, on behalf of Aviva, with 2,024 employees who are required to work digitally at any point via a laptop, computer, tablet etc. 1,017 who work for an SME (defined as fewer than 250 employees) & 1,007 who work for a large enterprise (defined as 250 of more employees) between 26.04.2023 - 28.04.2023.

1 Cyber Security Skills in the UK labour market 2022