A joint assessment by the United Kingdom’s (UK) National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Strategic Cyber Industry Group (SCIG) calls for a stronger partnership between business and law enforcement to combat cybercrime.
According to the report cybercrime now exceeds all other crime combined in the UK. It is a growing problem costing the UK economy billions per year.
“In any calculation we must consider that there are millions of individual victims, many thousands of corporate victims and correspondingly substantial losses,” said the report.
The UK suffers from the under-reporting of cyber incidents so the degree of the problem remains unclear. As an example the report highlights figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which estimated 2.46 million cyber incidents in 2015 versus the 700,000 that were actually reported to Action Fraud.
Businesses in the UK face a range of cyber threats.
“Although the most serious threat comes, directly or indirectly, from international crime groups, the majority of cybercriminals have relatively low technical capability,” the report said. “Their attacks are increasingly enabled by the growing online commercial marketplace, which provides easy access to sophisticated and bespoke tools and expertise, allowing these less skilled cybercriminals to exploit a wide range of vulnerabilities.”