UK: Cybercrime now bigger threat than traditional crime

The accelerating pace of technology and criminal cyber capability currently outpaces the UK’s collective response to cybercrime, calling for stronger collaborative working between government, law enforcement and, crucially, business to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent crime.

UK cybercrime

Cybercrime as a proportion of total UK crime in 2015

An assessment by the National Crime Agency shows that cybercrime activity is growing fast and evolving, with the threats from DDoS and ransomware attacks increasing significantly in 2015.

The most advanced and serious cybercrime threat to the UK is the direct or indirect result of a few hundred international cybercriminals, who target UK businesses to commit highly profitable, malware-facilitated fraud.

How cybercrime impacts the UK economy

Data breaches are the most common cybercrime committed against businesses and the NCA estimates that cybercrime costs the UK economy billions of pounds per year.

Under-reporting continues to obscure the full impact of cybercrime. This shortfall in reporting hampers the ability of law enforcement to understand the operating methods of cyber criminals and most effectively respond to the threat.

The NCA is urging businesses to view cybercrime not only as a technical issue but as a board-level responsibility, and to make use of the reporting paths available to them, sharing intelligence with law enforcement and each other.

“This is the first time the NCA has released a joint assessment with industry on cybercrime, and it is a good example of the collaborative approach between business, law enforcement and government that we need to cultivate and strengthen if we are to succeed. I hope that senior members of UK business, and not only those involved in the protection of their IT systems, take note of its contents and think seriously about ways that they can improve their defences and help law enforcement in the fight against cybercrime,” said Jamie Saunders, Director NCA National Cyber Crime Unit.

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