For the traditional criminal, a thief perhaps, there are both risks and limitations to their exploits. Generally speaking they will have to be present at the scene of the crime and expose themselves to being recognised or caught. Unless they are exceptionally dexterous they can likely only commit one offence at a time, limiting their ill-gotten gains. For the victims, their first port of call would be to file a report with the police.
The cyber-criminal enjoys committing their crimes remotely, coffee in hand. They can also commit multiple offences at the same time by automating it with clever technology. Sources of inquiry for these kinds of crime would not be limited to local, but could range to international. On top of all of this, victims are less likely to report it due to the perceived risk to their reputation. In terms of risk versus reward it’s very clear where the smart money is.
So what is cyber-crime?
Cyber-crime is just crime carried out by means of a computer or the internet. It is just as serious as traditional crime, it is impersonal and it often results in far greater loss to both businesses and individuals. Incidents of cyber-crime in the UK now outnumber all other reported non-violent crimes combined.
Combating this is the UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has been developing a lot of guidance for cyber security that is freely available to review online. Engaging in their 10 steps to cyber security is a great way to begin on the pathway to cyber security and has been assessed to help prevent up to 80% of common cyber-attacks. More and more UK organisations are taking up the challenge of combating cyber-crime. With it being a global issue, if enough UK organisations have good levels of cyber security, then the country may no longer appear to be as tempting a target.
The struggle between cyber related crimes and cyber security is unending. No silver-bullet solution currently exists that can mitigate all of the risks. This is because the security of a system is only as good as its weakest link and all it takes is for one person not to pay attention whilst opening an email and a lot of hard won work can go to waste. That is why it is important to educate and spread the word for safe computer practices.
At PKF Francis Clark, we have worked with businesses and charities alike to deliver both training and technical support for cyber security. Keeping your people up to date can be just as critical as keeping your systems up to date as they are the gatekeepers when it comes to attacks like phishing. Cyber security can, at times, seem overwhelming, with new incidents appearing on the news almost daily.
If you have any concerns regarding cyber security or data protection please feel free to get in touch with us for a chat at email@example.com, we’d be happy to help.