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UK to Become Haven for E-criminals

June 29th, 2005

Half of IT security professionals believe that UK is danger of becoming haven for e-criminals due to lack of government support and investment in police resource, a new research reveals. IT security experts are calling on the government to take the lead role in combating e-crime.

These are the headline findings of research which surveyed the top-tier industry experts from around the world. The survey, conducted by Ibas, questioned 187 senior IT and security professionals from IT, law enforcement, legal, finance and government sectors about their attitudes towards e-crime.

The survey revealed that 64% believe that an e-crime minister should be appointed, 85% stating legislation as critical to policing, investigating and prosecuting computer crimes, 69.3% stating Computer Misuse Act must be made a top government priority in aftermath of the election. Further to this, 91% believe that the Computer Misuse Act needs updating.

The research also raised questions about the private sectors ability to handle e-crime. 81.3% of companies claim to have a formal security policy in place for identifying, managing potential computer incidents. Yet, 78.5% admitted that they need professional computer forensics training, which includes developing methodology to implement and enforce a computer forensic capability within an organisation.

Research also revealed the top three computer-related crimes viewed as the most damaging to businesses and the economy are financial fraud (24.1%), identity theft (23.5%) and denial-of-service attacks (16.6%).

“E-crime has a direct effect on confidence in e-commerce and e-business and will have an increasingly negative impact on the growth of the UK economy as a whole unless the government takes a more proactive leadership role,” explained Simon Janes, international operations director at Ibas.

“The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) has already laid the initial ground work on the legislation side, but someone must pick up where APIG has left off before the election. To make any significant progress in preventing and reducing e-crime, an e-crime minister must be appointed to champion the cause and address the key issues such as tightening loopholes in legislation, addressing the lack of police resource and training in computer forensics, and facilitating communication and sharing of information between key organizations in the public and private sectors.”

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