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Cyber risk comment

A security figure has warned of a ‘gross underestimation and misunderstanding of cyber-risks’, following the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report into e-crime.

The Home Affairs Select Committee said recently that much low level internet-based financial crime was falling into a ‘black hole’ and was not reported to the police.

Phil Wood MBE, pictured, Head of Enterprise and Resilience at Bucks New University, said much of the problem stemmed from the public not appreciating the risks of cyber-crime and that better education would mean people are less susceptible to the crime.

He said: “We are now living in the age of the ‘digital native’, where people have always lived with computers and are networked from birth. We all expect and demand free and total access to information and interaction, and from social networking or shopping. This demand shows no sign of abating and this vulnerability is being generated by a psychological and social evolution involving our relationship with our computers, including tablets and phones.

“So, I would agree we should be targeting criminals who are planning and carrying out e-crimes.”

Mr Wood said he believes people need to be better educated about the risks of cyber crime. He added: “It is useful to underline that, as with all crime and malicious activity, the source of the problem is human – systems and networks used are simply conduits.

“E-technology is simply another facilitator for criminals’ actions. On the receiving end of the equation, we have you and me, the potential targets, who help criminals through our own behaviours.

“I would suggest that the basis of any effective security programme is realisation that the threat exists and in the ‘information age’, a real weakness lies in the targets who are immersed in the threat itself.

“Walk on any street or enter any workplace in the developed world and look at people socially and in normal interaction, engagement with the world of e-crime is primed and in-place.

“This is not all about national response and law enforcement agencies; it is about social change and, as usual, criminals will take the opportunities that such change offers now and in the future. This is the real issue.”

For that Home Affairs Committee of MPs’ report on e-crime and comments, visit –


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