UK Government steps in amidst troubling cyber-crime statistics
Cyber–crime is a daily fixture in the news as we enter the second month of 2019, and with the number cyber-attacks and breaches sharply increasing, the UK Government and various lobbing groups, are calling for all UK business to prioritise cyber security.
New figures were recently published by Action Fraud, revealing that nearly £35 million was stolen in cyber-crimes between April and September 2018. Businesses reported 2,137 cyber-crimes to UK police forces during this period with many more expected to have gone unreported.
Commenting on the figures, civil fraud and asset recovery specialist Jennifer Craven of Pinsent Masons said the increased sophistication of fraudsters to initiate and execute cyber-crime is affecting businesses all over the world.
Cyber-crime is harming UK business
The UK Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) latest survey has revealed that fraud and cyber-crime is costing Britain’s small businesses an average of £800 a year each. Calling for more action to tackle online crime, businesses are being encouraged to act fast if defrauded by cyber-criminals in order to give themselves the best chance of recovering stolen money.
Unfortunately, whilst most companies have cyber security on their minds, few are specifically insuring themselves against a systems breach. The insurance market is growing quickly – up 100% in the past year, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). But despite this, a mere 9% of UK companies (rising to 25% in the financial sector) have dedicated cyber insurance.
There are a multitude of reasons that are stopping UK businesses from taking the necessary cyber security measures; for some it is a lack of awareness, and others are prohibited by the cost. The majority, however, simply don’t see the importance or risk of not properly securing themselves against cyber-attacks.
The insurance industry is only too aware of the dangers of not taking precautionary action against cyber-crime. Parts of cyber risk are easily insurable, says the ABI’s Joseph Ahern. These include insurance against hackers, low-level ransom attempts, and data-collecting malware.
The insurance industry works on the basis that bad things happen to a few people at a time. When really bad stuff happens to a large number of people at once, it struggles. The industry either goes bust or gets out of the market. Then, the Government has to step in.
The Government urges action
The UK Government announced on 28th January, 2019 that it will invest more than £100 million into efforts to make digital devices, online services, and smart systems more secure.
Under the plans, £70m will go to research aimed at building cyber security technologies into the design of future hardware and electronic chips.
This comes after the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launched a nationally recognised accreditation, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus, in association with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The purpose of Cyber Essentials is to equip businesses with the capability to guard against the most common cyber threats, and demonstrate their commitment to cyber security, but take up has been limited at best so far.
And with one in five SMEs stating that they have no plans to invest in the Government’s scheme in 2019 despite 66 percent of SMEs suffering cyber-attacks, the statistics convey a troubling year ahead.
A recent report from King’s College London’s Cyber Security Research Group called Active Cyber Defence: A public good for the private sector argues that the UK Government should name and shame businesses who fail to take appropriate security measures.
The report suggests that the Government should publish details of companies that are not taking steps to keep users safe online, incentivising businesses to improve their defences and help combat cyber-crime such as online fraud and identity theft.
This follows the Ipsos MORI Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, which found than four in 10 businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack in 2017-18.
Armed with the right advice and cost-effective solutions, it couldn’t be easier to protect yourself against cyber–attacks. Neuways are cyber security experts and manage IT solutions for businesses across the UK – call us today to keep the cyber–criminals at bay on 01283 753333.