The National Crime Agency has published its ‘Cyber Crime Assessment 2016’, outlining the immediate threat to UK businesses from cyber crime. This is the first cyber crime assessment produced jointly by the NCA and industry partners.
The NCA reports that the accelerating pace of technology and criminal cyber capability currently outpaces the UK’s collective response to cyber crime, calling for stronger collaborative working between government, law enforcement and, crucially, business to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent crime.
The assessment shows that cyber crime activity is growing fast and evolving, with the threats from distributed denial of service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks increasing significantly in 2015.
The NCA assesses that the most advanced and serious cyber crime threat to the UK is the direct or indirect result of a few hundred international cyber criminals, who target UK businesses to commit highly profitable, malware-facilitated fraud.
Data breaches are the most common cyber crimes committed against businesses and the NCA estimates that cyber crime costs the UK economy billions of pounds per year.
Under-reporting continues to obscure the full impact of cyber crime in the UK. This shortfall in reporting hampers the ability of law enforcement to understand the operating methods of cyber criminals and most effectively respond to the threat.
The NCA is urging businesses to view cyber crime not only as a technical issue but as a board-level responsibility, and to make use of the reporting paths available to them, sharing intelligence with law enforcement and each other.
Read the report (PDF).