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IoD poll: Third of businesses more vulnerable to cyber crime than pre-pandemic

28 Mar 2021

Recent IoD research shows businesses are feeling more vulnerable to cyber crime now, compared with before the pandemic. 

In a poll of just under 800 IoD members, one in three directors indicated that their organisation is now more vulnerable to cyber crime. The sharp rise in home working due to the pandemic has meant that businesses have become more exposed to cyber threats.  

For those that did experience an IT or cyber breach during the pandemic the most common examples ranged from ransomware and phishing emails aimed at getting home workers to allow access to business systems, through to hacking. 

A previous poll of IoD members showed that nearly three quarters (74%) of business leaders will be maintaining increased home-working arrangements after coronavirus, with more than one in five reporting their usage of the workplace will be significantly lower.

This more permanent role for remote and digital operations raises the long-term vulnerability of business to cyber-attacks after the pandemic. 

Joe Fitzsimons, Senior Policy Advisor at the IoD said:

“Many organisations have suffered cyber-attacks over the course of the pandemic, causing significant disruption, loss of revenue and in many cases data theft. The potential for reputational damage can result in long-lasting consequences.

“Increased home working has made navigating cyber security all the more challenging. The rise of home working will last long beyond the pandemic, with its various benefits for both employers and employees. Minimising the risk of cyber crime will continue to be a front of mind priority for business leaders.  

“Directors will continue to need support in developing a better understanding of cyber crime and the steps that can be taken to secure their digital operations. Further support in the form of access to training and tailored guidance will be key as organisations seek to minimise their risk of cyber threat.”

Full Survey Results  

789 respondents, conducted between 18 February – 3 March 2021 

Compared to before the pandemic, does your primary organisation feel more vulnerable or less vulnerable to cyber crime?   


Significantly more vulnerable


More vulnerable


No change


Less vulnerable


Significantly less vulnerable


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