The accelerating pace of technology and criminal cyber capability currently outpaces the UK’s collective response to cyber crime, according to a new report published by the UK’s National Crime Agency. The Cyber Crime Assessment 2016 calls for stronger collaborative working between government, law enforcement and, crucially, business to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent crime.
The assessment shows that cyber crime activity is growing fast and evolving, with the threats from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks increasing significantly in 2015. Data breaches are the most common cyber crimes committed against businesses and the NCA estimates that cyber crime costs the UK economy billions of pounds per year.
Under-reporting continues to obscure the full impact of cyber crime in the UK. 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 Business Continuity Institute's recently published Cyber Resilience Report revealed that two thirds of organizations had experienced a cyber security incident during the previous year.
The NCA is urging businesses to view cyber crime 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.
Jamie Saunders, Director NCA National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “This is the first time the NCA has released a joint assessment with industry on cyber crime, 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 cyber crime.”