More than half of IT managers ignorant of rising cybercrime threat

More than 60% of IT managers do not fully understand the threat of computer hacking within their organisations – while a further 90% do not treat it as a serious issue.

A survey by Northants-based cybercrime detection company Concentric found 93% of businesses had suffered from some form of computer crime and Internet-fraud related insurance claims rose 300% between 1997 and 1998.

The report follows research by the National Criminal Intelligence Service which found the hacking threat to be so serious it called for a ‘cyberpolice’ force to tackle what it called an ‘online crime epidemic’.

‘There is a worrying lack of understanding about the nature, extent and costs of cybercrime. Protection from cyberintrusion is a business issue, not just an IT one. Customer databases, confidential trading information and so on all need protection,’ said Concentric director David Duke.

‘Companies are also more vulnerable under the Data Protection Act if they do not do all they can to protect confidential personnel and customer information. This is not just a matter of whether an IT system is working correctly, it is a matter of business survival and legal responsibility,’ he added.

The company’s CyberSight scanning software product warns clients when their systems are being hacked into and detects viruses.

A separate report by the Department of Trade and Industry estimated that internal hacking – by company employees alone – cost firms more than £1.5bn between 1992/1998.

Only last month online companies were warned to look out for e-attacks which were described as the ‘next big IT issue following the Y2K bug’.

DK Matai, MD of Internet software provider mi2g, warned the problem was set to rise and had escalated three fold in the last 12 months.

Call for ‘cyberpolice’ to deal with online crime epidemic

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