Top tech stats: Self-driving cars raise concerns, cyber attacks on the rise and more

Welcome to your roundup of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

Self-driving cars

More than 30% of motorists are willing to pay more for an autonomous car. That’s according to a survey conducted by online car servicing provider Servicing Stop.

Interestingly, the same research showed that over a quarter of motorists are now looking forward to autonomous ambulances – some 28% of those polled said they perceived self-driving ambulances as a great idea.

Some 72% of people, though, said they would not feel comfortable being taken to hospital in an autonomous vehicle.

CEO and founder of Servicing Stop, Oly Richmond, said: “Autonomous cars are presenting new capabilities and possibilities to the average driver every single day. Not only will the self-driving cars; once properly integrated, provide greater efficiency on our roads but it will offer a range of support for motorists and pedestrians alike.

“If autonomous cars can improve the effectiveness of our emergency care services then we should offer them a warm welcome. One thing’s for certain, the autonomous vehicle industry will throw up some fascinating possibilities for all of us.”

Additionally, 68% of those polled said they would rather pay more for a car which could only be driven by a human.

Rise in cyber attacks

Beaming found that the number of cyber attacks targeting businesses in the UK rose by 52% in Q2 2017 when compared to Q1.

On average, the report says that firms were subjected to approximately 65,000 internet-borne cyber attacks each in the three months to June.

While two-thirds (68%) of attacks hitting corporate firewalls targeted connected devices such as networked security cameras and building control systems, there was a substantial increase in attacks on company databases.

On average, each UK business experienced 105 attempts to take control of their database applications per day in the second quarter of 2017, compared to just 14 in the first three months of the year.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, said: “Major organisations have been brought to their knees to by global cyber attacks and our research shows the likes of Wannacry are just the tip of the iceberg. UK businesses were targeted more than 700 times each on a daily basis by hackers over the last three months, who focused on hijacking connected devices and databases.”

“The majority of cyber attacks are automated computer scripts that search the web for weaknesses and attack company firewalls constantly looking for vulnerabilities. Businesses need to keep these vital defences up-to-date, prioritise security over convenience and ensure employees understand both the evolving threat and their cyber security responsibilities.”

Online shopping and security

An investigation by MYPINPAD, an enabler of multi-factor authentication for touchscreen devices, has found that 67% of people are concerned about their online shopping and banking security.

Almost a quarter of these said they were ‘very concerned’.

A vast majority (61%) of those polled stated that the information about data breaches and fraud had impacted their trust of online shopping and banking. Some 29% of participants said they had fallen victim to fraud online.

The rise in fraud, the study found, also impacted consumers’ desire to shop online with 11% of participants saying they shopped less and 10% noting they do not use mobile devices to carry out transactions.

Only 2% of respondents believe speed was more important than security when completing an online transaction while 50% of consumers questioned indicated they would like to use a combination of both PIN and biometrics.

David Poole, business development director at MYPINPAD, said: “The latest UK government figures show 90% of large businesses and 74% of SMEs have suffered a security breach. Increasing confidence is not just about preventing fraudulent transactions – it is also about boosting the number of successful transactions. There needs to be a consistent and convenient way for consumers to authenticate themselves for online transactions.

“This research highlights the need for banks, retail, payment and card schemes to strike a better balance between user experience and security. Consumers are well informed about the risks of transacting online and on mobile. For many, loyalty and a great experience entails peace of mind and tangible security. Multi-factor authentication and transparency around appropriate security practices are key to winning consumer trust.”