Will cybercops bungle in cybercrime jungle?

While a huge number of organisations are offering online security solutions, cybercrime itself continues to go largely unreported

Anyone who attended last month's Infosecurity expo at London's Olympia will know that while a huge number of organisations are offering online security solutions, cybercrime itself continues to go largely unreported.

"The big issue for UK companies isn't so much distrusting the police with your private and confidential information, but not having confidence in the police's technical ability to deal with your problems," says Nigel Hickson, the CBI's head of e-commerce.

This would be supported by humorous anecdotes where the police have inquired whether the hacker used a window or door to gain access to an organisation.

However, Hickson believes the establishment of the National High-Tech Crime Unit on 1 April this year is a step in the right direction.

"We now have a unit dedicated to curbing this form of crime. Unfortunately, it has only been granted £25m, which is clearly not enough, but at least it's a start.

"If the unit can do anything at all, it would be to increase the skills level in local forces. That is where businesses will naturally turn when they have a problem. It's also reassuring to hear that the unit aims to open its doors to business in general so that business can come to it and discuss problems of a generic nature that aren't necessarily going to result in a court case."

The month in numbers

- Current percentage of UK homes with broadband access (Computer Weekly, 5 April)

10 - Length in years of the jail terms received by Microsoft fraudsters, Silkander Qureshi, Shaheen Parveen and Zafar Ahmed (Computer Weekly, 12 April)

34% - Percentage of graduates choosing high-tech-related industries as their preferred career path (Universum Graduate Survey 2001)

61% - Percentage of users who say that e-business has not increased their revenue (Computer Weekly, 12 April)

800 - Number of students to have joined Sainsbury's IT skills community education programme at its Calcot store in Berkshire (French Jones press release, 11 April)

8500 - Number of employees due to be laid off by networking giant Cisco Systems (www.guardian.co.uk, 23 April)

10000 - Number of three-year peer-to-peer licences bought by GlaxoSmithKline so that its offices and research facilities can swap files (Computer Weekly, 12 April)

£22m - Revenue generated by the sale of 3G licences that the Government is considering giving back to debt-laden telecoms companies (www.ft.com, 23 April)

£30m - The amount that Hackney Town Council is seeking from INet after the bitter conclusion of its benefits and revenue contract (Computer Weekly, 12 April)

£1.8bn - Forecast expenditure of European businesses on CRM this year, according to Bristol Business School (Computer Weekly, 5 April)

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