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Are we heading for a cyber crime tsunami?

PUBLISHED: 14:42 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:42 27 June 2017

Cyber crime in Gloucestershire*

Cyber crime in Gloucestershire*

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Cybercrime and digital risk to business isn't going to go away and we need to ensure that it is firmly on the agenda in every board room. Gloucestershire Constabulary's Senior Intelligence Manager Ian Maxted looks at the issue

Ian Maxted is a former ethical hacker with over a decade of operational policing experience. Applying both of these skillsets and experiences, Ian uses his passion for technology to help reduce the risks of becoming a victim of cybercrime, reducing the impact of such an incident where it does occur and helping to drive new and effective ways of expediting police investigations in a digitally reliant society.

Whether it is phishing e-mails, annoying popups or malware, we’ve all been exposed to cybercrime in one capacity or another but hopefully not all fallen victim to these relentless attacks. Given the volume and sometimes complexity of these crimes, which target anything connected to the internet that can be potentially compromised, are we facing a cybercrime tsunami?

With an estimated 400,000+ victims of the WannaCry ransomware, the NHS and Telefonica are just two of the big named organisations known to have fallen victim. WannaCry was not an attack explicitly targeted at the NHS and has caused significant impact on many other victims. It could have affected any business.

In the first quarter of 2017, Gloucestershire experienced almost £900,000 of financial loss to cyber dependent crime and the sheer volume of indiscriminate attacks are unlikely to slow anytime soon with an estimated 20 billion internet connected devices a potential target of attack.

National Cyber Security CentreNational Cyber Security Centre

The good news, however, is that so much of this can be prevented by following some low to no cost basic steps. Reducing the risk of cybercrime is a matter of culture and good practice, ensuring that every employee takes their responsibility seriously. Any advice and training given to employees can be directly translated to their home life. Such guidance is a responsible and proportionate thing to do to protect employee and the business. After all, our people are the biggest risk for any organisation so protecting our employees will reduce business risk.

Having the relevant skills in house can often be a challenger for smaller businesses in relation to the cyber threat. Taking a look at the National Cyber Security Centre’s 10 Steps to Cyber Security and the Gloucestershire Safer Cyber Forum , is a short time well spent to get practical advice on preventative measures and cybercrime alerts and news.

There are no guarantees in life and managing business risk is no different in the context of cybercrime. Understanding the implications of what happens if an attack is successful is important, as is having process or system that minimises the impact on your business if the risk were to occur.

Due to the Safer Cyber priority within the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Plan, Gloucestershire Constabulary has increased its capabilities significantly to tackle cybercrime and make the county safer to visit, do online business with and from online.

Keep an eye on the Gloucestershire Constabulary website for upcoming cybercrime prevention events where you can come and speak with us at an event about any concerns you may have for your own online safety and that of your staff and business.

Please check out Safer Cyber Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire PCC and Gloucestershire Police for more information.

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