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Cybercrime battle could lose government funding

Colin Edwards

Government and European funds for Welsh anti e-crime initiatives can no longer be guaranteed and companies have been called on to embark on self-help projects and become more active within local initiatives.

At the e-Crime Wales Summit, Llandudno, this week, detective chief superintendent Chris Corcoran, chair of the e-Crime Wales Steering Group, warned delegates that current funding would not last forever.

He said that the Wales e-Crime Group would continue liaising and advising business, but its role in future would be international best practice and e-crime information exchange. Fourteen European countries have agreed to participate.

"We must not become too reliant on government," he told the 350 Welsh business delegates at the fifth e-Crime Wales Summit.

The summit heard that in Wales over the past five years the loss to the Welsh economy through business e-crime had increased from £190m to nearly £300m.

"Such losses equal job losses, which Wales cannot currently afford," said DCS Corcoran. "With a bit more effort we can keep business in business and keep people employed."

But despite the growing threat of e-crime, 12% of UK companies are still running internets without security. Research showed that 20% of companies had no anti-virus software installed and 20% had no firewalls."

Garreth Griffith, head of risk management at PayPal, said malware had grown by 600% over the past year.

Griffith admitted that of the $60bn processed by eBay last year, at a rate of more than $2,000 a second, the company suffered losses of 0.3%, or $20m.

He warned that while more e-crime is being detected, there is still much to be done and he urged Welsh businesses to forge new partnerships and work together in the cybercrime battle.


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