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Cybercime: People the weakest link

May 12th, 2005

A recently publication of figures from the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit revealing that cybercrime is costing UK businesses 2.4bn a year, specialist fraud consultancy Detica has warned that irresponsible customer behaviour is frequently to blame rather than inadequacies in the technology.

David Porter, Head of Security and Risk at Detica comments: “In addition to technological solutions, companies will often throw extra security processes at the problem. But with security, more, paradoxically, can often be less. The more people who witness a road accident, the less likely one of them will call an ambulance. Similarly, the more people making additional security checks, the less thorough each person will be, each assuming others will spot the problem. And the greater number of safety checks you put in, the more risks people will take – just like seatbelts make people drive faster. It´s all a question of careful, balanced design and not underestimating the potential for human fallibility.”

Detica pointed out that businesses also need to concentrate at educating customers and employees about cybercrime and making them the first line of defense.

“Haste, ignorance, fear and greed are the weak spots that fraudsters are ready to exploit. Customers need to guard their personal details closely and think before blindly clicking on e-mail or website links or downloading attachments. They should also be cautious about disclosing too many identity details on websites aimed at forming or reuniting social contacts as this can hand identity fraudsters what they need on a plate,” Porter added.

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