Public sector sees cybercrime as rising threat

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Public sector sees cybercrime as rising threat

Warwick Ashford

Public sector organisations say cybercrime is a growing threat to their data and reputation, according to the latest global economic crime survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The report Fighting Fraud in Government shows that more than one in four of the 180 organisations polled worldwide expect a cybercrime attack in the coming year.

Although asset misappropriation remains the top form of economic crime in the public sector, followed by accounting fraud and bribery and corruption, cybercrime has risen sharply.

While cybercrime has been statistically insignificant in previous surveys, it has emerged as a growing threat suffered by 14% of public sector respondents.  

The survey shows that the public sector is aware of the rising threat, with 28% of respondents thinking that they are likely to suffer a cybercrime attack in the next 12 months and over 40% of respondents saying they perceive the risk of cybercrime to be on the rise.  

Andrew Miller, PwC’s head of information security in government, said damage to an organisation’s reputation and the potential loss of data are high on the public sector’s agenda when it comes to the impact of cyber attacks.  

This is hardly surprising given recent high profile cases of data security breaches. Therefore, it is vital that organisations continue to ensure they are investing in cybercrime monitoring capabilities and align their management structures to take timely actions if a cyber incident occurs,” he said.

Although over half of public sector organisations said they have in-house capabilities to detect cybercrime, most do not have the resources to investigate it and are reliant on external forensic technology investigators.

The statistics also indicate that the most senior people within organisations are not placing enough emphasis on the importance of managing the real threats that cybercrime frauds present to their organisation, with nearly half of boards not reviewing the threat more frequently than annually.  

 


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