Cybercrime is now more prevalent than traditional crime

In news that’ll come as a relief to those outside of IT and disappointment to IT pros, traditional crime now lags behind cybercrime in at least one country.

So if you’re worried about your wallet getting stolen, that’s so old-fashioned. Instead, you just have to worry about thieves clearing out your entire bank account with a few keystrokes.

The UK’s National Cyber Crime Agency (NCA) has a report entitled Cyber Crime Assessment 2016 which has found that in 2015, cyber-enabled fraud accounted for 36% of criminal activity and computer misuse another 17%.  That means the remaining 47% of crime was unrelated to computers.

Some of the factors that NCA said contributed to this upending of traditional criminal activity included:

  • limited engagement by boards
  • a box-ticking approach to cybersecurity, and
  • limited expertise.

One of the most interesting factors, according to researchers, was under-reporting of incidents. This has a couple of effects. It may mean the actual problem is much worse than even these alarming numbers indicate, and it also makes further attacks more likely.

If companies don’t speak up when they’re hit by cybercrime, the criminals are free to strike again without having their profiles raised at all. It’s no guarantee that reporting incidents will result in hackers being caught (much less punished), but keeping information out of others’ hands is potentially exposing other companies to risk.

Sharing information could help

Many companies are already required to disclose breaches to authorities or the public. Others may not be.

It’s difficult to suggest companies disclose more about cyberincidents than they’re required to. But this kind of information sharing does have its benefits.

Whether it’s right for you or your company’s culture will certainly vary, however. So make sure you talk with your board and other concerned parties to plan out how and when you’ll speak about breaches should you ever be faced with that unfortunate circumstance.

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