There is plenty of media coverage, intelligence and experience to demonstrate that the impact of Cybercrime is likely to grow over the next few years. New and technologically enhanced methods of creating illicit wealth, through fraud, identity replication or creation, through unlawful access to processes or data and the major impact of Social Media on police demands, will be a constant challenge of the next decade
The National Strategy includes the following objectives
• Making the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace;
• Making the UK more resilient to cyber-attack and better able to protect our interests in cyberspace;
• Helping shape an open, vibrant and stable cyberspace that supports open societies;
• Building the UK‘s cyber security knowledge, skills and capability.
This leaves considerable scope for engagement by, and through policing particularly PCCs. The new structure of the role of PCC offers an opportunity to engage and secure collaboration with other Regional and National assets and to act as an enabler holding others to account, including industry. Equally the political influence the PCC can exercise in this function, should enable the Police Strategies to be more effective
Nationally a range of actions and activities have been embedded to progress the Cyber Strategy. These were updated publicly in December 2013 as follows.
• further deepening our national sovereign capability to detect and defeat high-end threats;
• ensuring law enforcement has the skills and capabilities needed to tackle cyber-crime and maintain the confidence needed to do business on the Internet;
• ensuring critical UK systems and networks are robust and resilient; improving cyber awareness and risk management amongst UK business;
• ensuring members of the public know what they can do to protect themselves, and are demanding good cyber security in the products and services they consume;
• bolstering cyber security research and education, so we have the skilled people and know- how we need to keep pace with this fast-moving issue into the medium-term; and
• working with international partners to bear down on havens for cybercrime and build capacity, and to help shape international dialogue to promote an open, secure and vibrant cyberspace.
The Home Office has estimated that there were approximately 180,000 incidents of cybercrime in 2012 including hacking, viruses, phishing scams and online banking frauds.
According to reports 50% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small and medium sized businesses (Symantec). Since small to medium sized businesses form a critical part of the any economy, news that they are being targeted by cyber criminals is alarming.
The challenges of the future will involve smarter mobile malware making more people more vulnerable to small identity attacks, or causing additional risks if precautions are not taken
Corporate compromise, either through front door hacking or insider disruption will certainly grow. Equally the growth of cloud based technology creates a world of challenges in relation to investigation, reduction and prevention strategies as well as possible severe hurdles for evidence gathering.
Director Stuart Hyde QPM, is the former ACPO lead on CyberCrime and Vice President for the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace. He is also the Vice President of the HTCC The Hi Tech Crime Consortium.