Cyber crime in Scotland: evidence review research findings

Summary findings from a review of the evidence around the scale and nature of cyber crime affecting individuals and businesses in Scotland.

Context - Internet use in Scotland

In order to set the subsequent findings in context, it is important to consider the broader picture in terms of levels of and trends in internet use across Scotland. Whilst the growth of the internet has created many positive opportunities, these are accompanied by inherent risks and the potential to be exploited by criminals.

  • The vast majority of adults in Scotland (84%) reported using the internet for personal or work use in 2016, this figure has remained stable of late but has significantly increased since the 2007 baseline year of 63% [2] .
  • There is a clear relationship between internet use and age, with use increasing as age decreases. Usage also tends to increase in line with household income.
  • There are indications that the public are aware of the potential risks of using the internet, with the majority taking precautions to protect themselves. In 2016 only 7% of internet users noted that they adopt no security measures [3] .
  • The 2017 Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that 74% of UK businesses [4] consider cyber security to be a high priority for senior management [5] and fewer firms now say it is a very low priority compared to 2016.
  • The same survey revealed that the vast majority of UK businesses have cyber security measures in place including applying software updates (92%), malware protection (90%) and firewalls (89%).


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