Cybercrime Is Now Biggest Economic Crime Danger For UK Businesses

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Cybercrime incidents increase 20 percent since 2014, PWC research finds

Cybercrime attacks against UK businesses has grown so rapidly in recent years that Britain now leads many of the world’s leading nations in terms of reported incidents, new figures have shown.

PwC’s latest Global Economic Crime Survey found cybercrime has seen the fastest growth rate of any type of economic crime, nearly half (44 percent) of British businesses that had suffered economic crime over the last two years were affected by cyber incidents, a 20 percent increase from 2014

This puts the UK far above the global response of 32 percent, as businesses migrate to cloud-based storage and increasingly adopt connected Internet of Things devices in the workplace, meaning that the number of devices connected to the office network are now at risk from hackers.

At risk

amazonOverall, just over half (51 percent), of UK organisations said that they expected to fall victim of cybercrime in the next two years, suggesting it will become the UK’s largest economic crime.

This growing threat is still not causing all businesses to up their protection, however. PwC found almost a third of UK businesses have no cyber response plan in place.

And confidence in law enforcement authorities is also at a seriously low rate, as only 12 percent of respondents believe these forces had the necessary skills and resources to investigate any cybercrime affecting their business.

“Hackers are now more ambitious than ever,” noted Mark Anderson, PwC’s global corporate intelligence leader, “Their aim goes beyond targeting financial information to include a company’s ‘crown jewels’ – customer data and intellectual property information, the loss of which, can bring down an entire business.

“The threat of cybercrime is now a board level risk issue, but not enough UK companies treat it that way.”

This latter point was backed up by the finding that almost half of businesses said that cybercrime would have no impact on their reputation, and almost 60 percent are not concerned about the potential for theft of intellectual property.

In fact, UK respondents said that the greatest concern about a cyber-attack is the potential disruption to services, as nearly a third (31 percent) believed such an attack would have a medium-to high impact on their business.

“It’s clear that businesses are still struggling to deal with the volume and type of threats they face,” commented Rob Lay, customer solutions architect in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu.

“Companies should focus some effort on ensuring that they have suitable response processes in place, along with better visibility of what is going on within their environments.”

“With the effective lack of any perimeter due to mobility, cloud and other developments such as IoT, understanding what is happening, being able to interpret that in the context of the business and then being able to take appropriate action based on informed business decisions means that companies will be much better equipped to respond to these attacks as and when they happen.”

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