Taxman thwarts £100m worth of online fraud

CYBERCRIME which could have caused £103m worth of damage to the UK’s coffers was foiled by HMRC between 2014 and 2015, a government cyber security report has found.

The data was brought to light by the government’s UK Cyber Security Strategy annual report, sister title Digital By Default News first reported.

The 2010 National Security Strategy identified cybercrime as one of the top threats to the UK. In response, the Government has invested £860m since 2011 in a National Cyber Security programme.

Following this investment the government says HMRC took down nearly 1,000 fraudulent websites in 2012 – a figure that rose to more than 11,000 in 2015.

Dedicated team

The latest report outlines how, in 2012, HMRC established a dedicated cyber security team ,that has “assisted in the prevention of frauds totalling more than £103m in 2014-15”.

Other achievements cited by paymaster general Matthew Hancock include a ‘significant enhancement’ of national capabilities and technologies to defend the UK against those who would do us harm and the introduction of a national approach to incident response and secure information sharing on threats.

Hancock also claims that government digital services are ‘more secure than ever’ thanks to building in security by design and taking robust action against attempts at online fraud.

More to be done

The minister continued by saying that 2016 will see the launch of the UK’s second National Cyber Security Strategy, which will define the vision and ambition for the next five years.

“While we know the scale of the task ahead, we also know we are building on a good platform,” he said. “This report highlights the current Programme’s achievements over the past year and the wider impact of the programme since its inception. We should be proud of the foundations we have jointly laid through our first National Cyber Security Programme. They have positioned us well for challenges ahead.”

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