Some 84% of Spaniards say they feel safe when banking on-line, making banks the institutions that inspire the most confidence among users, followed by public administrations

Some 85% of people acknowledge receiving cybersecurity awareness information from their bank, but only 54% pay attention to it

Traditional banking institutions are the most trusted by users of digital channels when it comes to the management and protection of their personal data, with a score of 7.5 out of 10. They are followed by public administrations, on-line shopping platforms and digital financial services providers, while digital entertainment platforms and social networks are in last place in terms of perceived security. This is one of the conclusions drawn from the first survey on 'Cybersecurity and digital channel usage habits', prepared by Sigma Dos in collaboration with CECA, which analyses: the behaviour, knowledge and habits of users in the use of digital channels; customer exposure and protective measures against cyberattacks; and users' assessment of the initiatives taken by banks to tackle cybercrime.

Thus, 78% of respondents recognise that their bank is concerned about their digital security and three out of four respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the security measures implemented by their bank. In fact, in the event of detecting suspicious activity affecting their banking operations, Spaniards mostly prioritise direct contact with their bank, and those who have been victims of cyberfraud rate the attention they received with a very good score (7.2 on average).

In this regard, compared to other players in the cybersecurity ecosystem, Spaniards consider banks to be the best prepared to protect them from cyberfraud, followed by law enforcement agencies and public administrations.

Only half of all Spaniards believe they could be the victim of a cyberattack

In recent years, banks' digital channels have established themselves as a very useful tool for the day-to-day operations of their customers. Thus, four out of ten respondents claim to use digital banking on a daily basis (41%), while 88% use it at least once a week. Among the most frequent transactions, we can highlight balance and activity enquiries (35%), followed by on-line purchases (26%) and payments with Bizum (21%), with the latter being the transaction most frequently performed by young people. In this digital environment, 84% of Spaniards claim to feel safe when they operate through their digital bank.

With the rise of new technologies and their use in everyday life, in general terms, Spaniards perceive cyberattacks as a growing danger. Thus, on a scale of 0-10, respondents rate this danger as 8.3 on average, while 33% rate these threats at the highest level (10). However, from an individual perspective, the perception of vulnerability, while still high, is significantly reduced, with only half of the respondents considering it likely or very likely that they could be a first-hand victim of a cyberattack.

With regard to the techniques used to commit fraud, respondents perceive the greatest threat from messages with suspicious content sent via email, SMS or WhatsApp (73%), followed by fake calls on behalf of a known financial institution or company (42%) and contact from strangers via social networks (34%).

These data reflect the rise in cyberattacks using social engineering techniques (those that exploit human error instead of a computer security breach), against which technological prevention measures are ineffective and must be tackled by raising public awareness and training in cybersecurity.

The importance of outreach for prevention

As the Sigma Dos survey reveals, among the main causes of the rise in the number of cyberattack victims is the lack of training of users of digital channels. Six out of ten respondents admit to having limited knowledge of cybersecurity, and this is more pronounced among those aged 65 and over. In fact, 20% of respondents believe that their bank could contact them via email, SMS, WhatsApp or telephone to ask them for their login username and password to their digital banking.

Faced with a dearth of knowledge on cybersecurity, banks are committed to creating and disseminating content with the firm intention of promoting, encouraging and offering their customers the necessary tools to reduce their exposure to cyberfraud. Thus, 85% of respondents acknowledge receiving this type of communication from their bank, but despite these efforts, only 54% say that they pay any attention to it. Broken down by age, the younger population is the least responsive to this type of communication (only 33% take it into account), while those aged 65 and over are more receptive (67% take it into account).

Furthermore, 65% of people consider that they take sufficient protective measures to ensure their digital security, a figure that rises to 86% among those respondents who claim to be digitally literate. The main measures include activating notifications whenever there are account movements, using biometric login data, or using measures to protect their passwords, such as good practices that involve regularly changing passwords.