Cyber crime blankets UK companies

Link: Crime gangs target internet

The National High-Tec Crime Unit said as many as 97% of UK companies had fallen victim to cyber crime in the last 12 months, with the danger of high tech crime growing exponentially.

John Lyons, crime reduction coordinator with NHTCU, said radical changes to high tech law enforcement are needed because the danger from cyber crime is following the growth trend observed by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, by doubling every 18 months.

‘Traditonal crime has show a growth rate of 5% per annum, but high tech crime is growing many times more quickly following Moore’s Law in the past and into the future,’ Lyons warned.

‘Some 18% of companies surveyed were hacked in the last 12 months,’ he said.

Lyons highlighted the extent of the fast growing cyber crime threat by pointing to the results of a recent study which NHTCU commissioned from NOP, called The impact of high-tech crime on UK business.

The study of UK businesses found that only 3% of UK corporates had not been hit by high-tech crime in the past 12 months. They considered the sabotage of data or networks the most serious threat, with 91% of respondents placing this top of their danger list.

Virus attacks were also feared, with 90% of companies citing them as a serious concern.

Financial fraud, the theft of proprietary information, and denial of service attacks respectively took third, forth and fifth place in the study.

In addition, the NHTCU’s research showed that theft of laptops was the most common tech-related crime, experienced by 77% of companies in the last year.

Virus attacks were the most common cybercrime, with 67% admitting they had fallen victim in the past 12 months.

Lyons predicted that the number of social engineering attacks would increase dramatically during the coming year.

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