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Cyber partnership

A new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership is to tackle the growing threat of organised and global cyber criminals, according to the Government. Police, industry and academics will be jointly led by Home Office Security Minister James Brokenshire and Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts.

In a speech at BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, Brokenshire said: ‘For too long the public’s perception of cyber crime has been a lone bedroom hacker stealing money from a bank account. But the reality is that cyber criminals are organised and global, with a new breed of criminals selling ‘off-the-shelf’ software to aid gangs in exploiting the public. This government is committed to tackling this threat and we have already had great success. But we want to go further and through the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit within the NCA and innovations such as the new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership, I am confident we can bring these criminals to justice.’

In its first year the Police Central e-Crime unit, part of the Cyber Security Strategy, has prevented an estimated £538m of harm being caused.

Brokenshire added: ‘It is important that members of the public or businesses report cyber crimes to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre. Simple steps, such as setting strong passwords and using up-to-date virus software, can reduce the risk of becoming a victim.’ For more visit the BCS website.

Commenting on the news, Jarno Limnell, director of cyber security at Stonesoft said: “The Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership (CCRP) initiative is worth noting by all nations looking to fight cyber-crime. This collaboration of industry experts, police and academics will make battling cyber-crime all the more fruitful through a unique provision of expertise from different backgrounds and perspectives.

“If successful, the CCRP should lead as an example to other European nations. This opportunity could be the keystone in helping to propel the UK forward as a front-runner and driving force in tackling cybercrime within the region.

“The use of industry experts should also go some way to ensuring the issue of cybercrime is seen as more ‘real’ amongst businesses. As security minister James Brokenshire commented, the rest of the country (businesses and the general public) also has a big role to play. It’s a widely acknowledged fact that the business world is increasingly reliant on digital processes. The CCRP should help popularise basic knowledge regarding cyber-crime issues among the whole nation. From a grassroots business level, IT departments should be working with employees to ensure that they understand the pitfalls of bad cyber-practice.”

And David Emm, Senior Security Researcher Kaspersky Lab, called it a step in the right direction for reducing the risks of cyber-crime in the UK. He said: “There are already a few large organisations that want to take the lead in the fight against cyber-crime on an international level: the Action Against Terrorism Unit (a department of the United Nations), the recently-opened European Cybercrime Centre at Europol and Interpol, which plans to open a Cyber Interpol division office in Singapore in 2014. Many countries already have CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams) and cyber-crime laws, but in many cases law enforcement is faced with shortages of funds and resources, which makes the fight harder.

“It is essential that the UK looks at how it can develop partnerships that draw on the expertise in this arena to help keep the population’s personal and private data out of the hands of criminals. It’s clear that fighting cybercrime today is no longer a job that any single entity can effectively perform by itself. Cybercrime transcends geopolitical borders, meaning attackers can target victims on the other side of the world. But law enforcement agencies have jurisdictional limits and are unable to conduct investigations alone across borders. So logically they should co-operate with their colleagues in other countries. Kaspersky Lab already co-operates with IMPACT (the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats – the cyber-security executing arm of the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union) in the fight against cyber-crime. In my personal experience I know that co-operation amongst different parties can help immensely in this struggle. Through our expertise we provide advanced technical information regarding widespread or dangerous malware, which with the help of IMPACT, can be placed in the context of current legal investigations or be used to initiate new cases.


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