Almost half of Scottish companies lack basic digital skills that could drive growth and are vulnerable to cyber scams, a survey has found.

The latest Bank of Scotland Business and Charity Index found there are more Scottish businesses online than ever before – but 41% are failing to protect their assets against cyber threats while 44% lack digital skills.

It said that businesses that embrace technologies including cloud, online accounting software, and digital training tools could generate more than £100,000 in additional annual turnover.

Philip Grant, chairman of the Scottish Executive Committee at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Scotland’s digital technology sector is forecast to grow twice as fast as the Scottish economy overall in the years to 2024.

“Our findings show that SMEs are capitalising on this momentum, with over half (56%) with full basic digital skills, an increase of 21% compared to figures reported in 2015.

“There is still more that can be done to further upskill and build confidence in using digital technologies that will create opportunities to drive productivity and boost revenue.”

Nick Williams, managing director of commercial and business banking transformation at Lloyds, said: “Businesses and charities are seeing that moving online is not only helping increase revenue, but it is also improving productivity levels.

“The potential £85 billion in revenue that SMEs could generate demonstrates the tangible impact of advancing digital capability and skills.”