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If the UK wants to compete with the EU on equal terms post-Brexit, UK data protection standards will have to match EU regulations, according to cyber protection firm NCC.

“For the UK to do business with the EU, or any other country for that matter, it is vital that data protection standards and legislation is of the highest order,” said NCC chief executive Rob Cotton.

“The cybercrime arms race is the single biggest threat to corporates and individuals globally,” Cotton said.

“Regardless of when or how the various negotiations develop with the EU, if the UK wants to trade with the EU on equal terms, UK data protection standards will have to be equivalent to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”).”

Cotton said UK firms need to tighten up their cyber protection.

“Although cyber threats are now an everyday occurrence for businesses and individuals alike, there needs to be a cultural shift as it is clear that the required behavioural change at all levels is severely lagging,” he said, pointing to a recent government cyber survey of FTSE 350 companies that showed only 33% of boards understood their cyber risk.