Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Hack Attach Imminent

30 January 2017

We’re not listening, or the criminals are getting sneakier. Either way, cybercrime is getting worse and we all need to take better precautions.

The threat of cybercrime will come as no surprise to any of us. We read stories every day of companies big and small being subjected to the unwelcome attention of criminals with keyboards. Some of us may even have read Digital Fortress, which makes the common criminal concepts of unauthorised access, viruses, malware and denial of service seem deliriously glamourous. Sadly, if you live your life in the real world, and not in the pulp fiction pages of a thriller, then the facts of online fraud are anything but a best-seller. The clue is in the generic term. Crime.

Springfords believe that prevention is better than cure – so if you haven’t checked in to any of our cybercrime seminars yet, we’ve a simple message. Do so next time. Give us a call and we’ll make sure you’re on the list for our next seminar.

Despite the resources out there, such as the ActionFraud line, the problem isn’t going away in the UK. There was an alarming report published recently, admittedly by a software security firm, which said over 90% of UK companies said they’d been affected by cybercrime. Whether that affectation amounted to any more than getting an unsolicited call from a software security firm asking about cybercrime wasn’t clear, but the topic is a hot one, regardless. The same report said that Britain was second only to Columbia by the same measure. So, we can assume the survey team speak Spanish as well.

Regardless of the absolute figures, the report showed a year-on-year increase of 16%. Those would be impressive growth figures, if they weren’t for criminal activity.

The somewhat less commercially-driven Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that there were 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in the twelve months up to September 2016. That’s only in England and Wales, and the estimates are only estimates, because there’s still a cesspool of cybercrime going unreported.

For whatever reasons, even incompetent hack happy fraudsters are often allowed to get away without even being reported for the attempt. It’s the graffiti effect - none of us like it, but how many of us actually report it. Still if a hapless gang of criminals broke into your office with crowbars, you’d be on the phone to the police straight away. Be in no doubt, reporting cyber fraud is the easiest step and the biggest help in beating the hacksters.

Media sources, including the BBC, recently listed the most common forms of fraud that involve your digital assets.

Bank and credit account fraud, where criminals go after your account, card and personal details and save you the bother of spending your own money.

Advance fee fraud, where that email from a distressed foreign princess needs you to send some cash, just to release fabulous funds - straight into a fraudulent account.

The blatant practice whereby victims buy stuff over the internet that is never going to materialise. (Well, who needs to sit in waiting for deliveries anyway.)

So, if our laissez-faire attitude to cyber fraud really does have us vying with Columbia for top of the bottom when it comes to online crime, maybe we should all have another look at ourselves and pull up our cyber socks. Password is not the new password, for starters.

About the Springfords blog

springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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