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Cybercrime still a key issue

Scotland and London head digital skills index

Apple iPhone Daily BusinessSmall businesses in Scotland and London are the biggest adopters of digital skills in the UK, although a high proportion have yet to develop a strategy for dealing with cybercrime.

New data shows more than two-thirds (70%) of small businesses in these areas have developed basic digital skills, compared to the UK average of 62%.

Businesses in Northern Ireland (50%), the West Midlands (52%) and Wales (55%) are the lowest adopters.

The data emerges today in the third annual Lloyds Banking Group Business Digital Index a survey of 2,000 small businesses and charities across the UK, including 109 in Scotland, developed in association with digital skills firms Doteveryone and Accenture.

It is based on five key skills needed to get the most out of being online – managing information, communicating, transacting, creating and problem solving.

However, cyber security is rising in prominence as a reason for small businesses not doing more online and 57% of Scottish firms state they still need to invest in cyber security, lower than the UK average of 69%.

Currently under a quarter of Scottish small businesses (23%) are using digital to support their overseas trading and 37% have no website. 

Only a half (51%) of small businesses in Scotland have created social media communities, which may explain why 44% are still not investing their budget in digital skills. 

Philip Grant, chairman of the bank’s Scottish Executive Committee, said: “It’s clear that being online can open the doors to opportunities, as well as cost and time saving benefits. 

“We must do more to encourage small businesses based in Scotland to invest in digital skills, allowing them to make the most out of being online and to reap the benefits.”

Doteveryone was established by founder Martha Lane Fox to understand and address the challenges connected with the internet and spread the benefits across the nation.

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