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Security industry must work closer with police to beat cyber crime

Industry body techUK has called for a more united effort between the security industry and the police to fend off cyber criminals

The issue of cyber crime crops up on a daily basis at the moment as the channel and their customers try to keep the criminals at bay.

Earlier this week at the CompTIA partner conference in London the need for improved security skills came up and the topic has been kept on the boil by the announcement from techUK that more collaboration needs to take place between industry and police to tackle the problem.

Even though next week is half term there will be no holiday for those trying to highlight the need for more vigilance with the five day Security Serious event uniting large businesses, universities, associations and government bodies that want to promote best practices to make the UK a safer place to operate online.

There seems to be fairly widespread acceptance among businesses that being a victim of a cyber crime is almost inevitable now.

The high levels of threat have led techUK, which describes itself as the voice of the UK technology industry, to call for a fresh approach to dealing with cyber crime.

The organisation believes that there could be more work done together by the IT industry and the police to try and raise the reporting and quality of response to attacks.

“Digital technology is revolutionising the way criminals operate. Police forces have made a number of positive steps to meet the challenge in recent years but they cannot meet it on their own. The ability to effectively tackle cyber-crime remains the collaborative responsibility of civil society as a whole, including businesses, consumers and the technology industry," said James Murphy, associate director – defence and security at techUK.

"It’s only by working in partnership with the cyber security industry that the police can access the skills, capacity and reach that they desperately need," he added.

Last week national crime figures were released that included cyber offences for the first time and although many inthe industry welcomed the inclusion of those attacks it was widely felt that many customers were still not reporting problems.

One of the key proposals fromk techUk is that police can tap into an MSP model of security advice with experts available to provide the particular skills they need.

Other ideas include the option for the College of Policing to accredit private training providers in the industry that could bring junior officers up to speed.

There was also a call for more funding for law enforcement fighting cyber crime and the suggestion that a joint police and industry working group should be established to share best practices and react to a fast changing threat landscape.

Adrian Leppard, Commissioner of the City of London Police, said that cyber crime did represent some challenges for policing and that with budgets coming under more pressure there was an opportunity for the provate sector IT firms to play more of a role.

“Creating structures that work nationally to facilitate this will be challenging but we should wrestle with these issues as the threats we face are significant. Just as technological innovation helped the public and police win the battle against other crime types it has great potential to assist law enforcement in investigating and designing out cyber-crime," he said.

“It’s by working together we can share expertise and knowledge toward the collective goal of making the UK a more hostile place to commit cyber-crime," he added.

techUk has used Freedom of Information requests to get an insight into how cyber crime is handled by different police forces nationally and got a picture of rising levels of reported problems right across the country.

Andrew Rogoyski, vice president of cyber security services at CGI UK, said that facing up to the challenge of cyber crime was something that needed to be given more focus.

“The challenge of dealing with large scale cybercrime is a ticking time bomb - it will become a major public issue within months rather than years. The report rightly says that Police services can't be expected to deal with large volumes of cybercrime although the public may still expect them to. Private sector specialists can help but the long-term answer is for everyone, from companies and government departments to individual citizens, to start taking responsibility for their use of technology and become a lot more security savvy," he said.

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