New research shows that security is failing to keep pace with smartphone utilisation by consumers

Date: 22nd April 2024

  • 78 per cent use their mobile for banking, and 51% use it as a digital wallet
  • 74 per cent of smartphone users want a service that allows you to block access to all services simultaneously after the theft of a device


22 April 2024—London, UK: Nuke From Orbit, a UK fintech startup, has unveiled findings from its latest research report, Evolving smartphone usage and the growing threat to consumers. The report sheds light on a concerning trend in smartphone thefts, indicating that in 62% of cases in the UK, the repercussions extend far beyond the initial loss of the device.

According to the research, not only were respondents’ social media and email accounts accessed, but one in four individuals also fell victim to digital wallet theft, resulting in monetary losses. Alarmingly, the study reveals that one in five respondents experienced compromised personal bank accounts through unauthorised access via mobile banking apps.

The alarming findings come amid the evolving boom in smartphone usage and the growing identity threat that users face. Although smartphones were created to simplify life with their many functions, this convenience has also made consumers more vulnerable to risk in spite of increased security features on devices and apps. 

Other key findings from the research include:

  • 78% of the respondents use their smartphones for mobile banking, 85% for accessing email, 71% for managing social media and 51% for a digital wallet, indicating that cybercriminals can easily access their personal data from a single mobile device. 
  • However, nearly half (45%) are in the habit of using the same PIN to gain access to the phone and multiple apps, services, and bank cards.
  • 58% are aware that bank cards stored in a digital phone wallet can be used with your smartphone PIN to bypass biometrics.
  • Three in four (74%) showed interest in a service that enables them to cancel bank cards, block access to banking apps, SIM cards, email, social media and more, all in a single activation. 

James O’Sullivan, CEO and founder of Nuke From Orbit commented, “Biometrics were introduced to make smartphones more secure because the frequency with which you need to input a PIN is greatly reduced, but our research shows this has led to some complacency. Criminals are returning to old-school shoulder surfing tactics – that made ATMs a nightmare – to access the phones they then steal to commit secondary crimes. As an industry, we need to provide smartphone users with the highest level of protection by harnessing technology for instant data security when their devices are compromised.”

A legislation that will contribute to the fight against such threats is The UK Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (Product Security) Act, which will come into effect on the 29th of April. The Act will ensure that consumer technology products meet mandatory security requirements to protect against cyberattacks. Businesses – including banks – will be accountable for protecting customer data as the regulation mandates them to set safety measures such as minimum default password requirements and providing information on reporting security issues. 

With so much interconnectivity, and even authenticator apps and one-time passcodes utilising the same device, smartphones are at the heart of the challenge this legislation is designed to tackle.

“The Act is relevant for all businesses in the mobile ecosystem, including banks, fintechs and online service providers. Service providers are responsible for ensuring they do everything possible to protect consumers when the worst happens. Our research suggests that currently, they are not doing enough. Nuke From Orbit is on a mission to support such service providers in protecting the digital identities of individuals and putting them back in control of their data swiftly when their smartphones are stolen.”

Lawrence Brown, Senior Insights Manager at KAM, the research company responsible for conducting the research, added: “Many security measures are preventative, which, alongside good user behaviours, decrease the dangers [to consumers] and are, of course, encouraged. However, when reactive measures such as tracking and remote locking software can be disabled after the theft, there is a vulnerability gap that requires additional protection.”

Nuke From Orbit offers a unique digital panic button, allowing individuals to block access to various services and accounts all at once if their smartphone is stolen. This world’s first solution fixes a significant vulnerability and adds a higher level of data protection and privacy in the mobile security market.


About Nuke From Orbit:

Founded in 2023, Nuke From Orbit is a UK-based company developing a service that allows subscribers to block access to multiple services and accounts simultaneously, avoiding account compromise issues and monetary loss when their smartphone gets stolen. For more information and to see how the service works, visit

For further information or if you would like an interview with James O’Sullivan, please contact: YourStoryPR at 

Note to the Editor:

Methodology: The research was carried out by KAM on behalf of Nuke From Orbit. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults (18+) with a smartphone were surveyed via an online platform.

The full research report ‘Evolving smartphone usage and the growing threat to consumers’ is available to download here.