PwC survey puts cybercrime threat in context

Published: Friday, 26 February 2016 08:14

According to a new PwC survey there has been a double-digit rise in crime against UK corporates, as cyber becomes the fastest growing economic crime.

These findings are contained in the biennial PwC Global Economic Crime Survey, which polled more than 6,000 participants in 115 countries, including the United Kingdom.

PwC's Global Economic Crime Survey reveals that 60 percent of economic crime in the UK was committed by external perpetrators, up from 56 percent in 2014. While there was a decline in the number of organizations reporting economic crime perpetrated by employees (31 percent), there was a large increase in frauds committed by senior management which more than doubled from 7 percent to 18 percent.

Cybercrime has experienced the fastest growth of all economic crime. Some 44 percent of UK organizations that had experienced economic crime in the last 24 months were affected by cyber incidents, a jump of 20 percentage points from 2014: and substantially higher than the global response of 32 percent.

The rise of cybercrime is in stark contrast with some of the traditional forms of economic crime, including bribery, asset misappropriation and procurement fraud, which have declined.

Just over half (51 percent), of UK organizations say they expect to be the victim of cybercrime in the next two years, suggesting it will become the UK’s largest economic crime. However, only 12 percent of respondents believe that law enforcement authorities have the necessary skills and resources to investigate it. Almost a third of UK entities have no cyber response plan in place.

The fast take up of cloud-based storage and growing prevalence of the Internet of Things are some of the reasons for this year’s steep increases in cybercrime in the UK, leaving anything connected to the office network now vulnerable to hackers.

UK respondents say the greatest concern about a cyber-attack is the potential disruption to services: 31 percent say it would have a medium-to high impact. Surprisingly, almost half say that cybercrime would have no impact on their reputation and almost 60 percent are not concerned about the potential for theft of intellectual property.

The UK Economic Crime Survey 2016 is available at: www.pwc.co.uk/gecs