Eurim calls for better reporting and help to prevent cybercrime

The government should create one-stop-shops to allow businesses to report computer crimes and share confidential intelligence...

The government should create one-stop-shops to allow businesses to report computer crimes and share confidential intelligence with other organisations, lobby group Eurim has urged.

The lack of reliable intelligence about computer criminals and a shortage of statistics on the impact of computer crime is placing businesses at risk, Eurim said in a discussion paper published last week.

The group's warning comes as the Home Office prepares its national e-crime strategy, which is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the police, government and computer users.

"There is a lack of information on how e-crime is undermining trust in the information society," Eurim said. "We need to make sure we have adequate skilled resources and processes in place to report, investigate and prosecute e-crime when it occurs."

Businesses and the government should collaborate to ensure that the public and small businesses have access to better information about computer security, said Eurim.

This would protect larger businesses by helping to slow the spread of viruses and making it more difficult for hackers to use vulnerable computer systems as a staging post to attack large companies. Eurim is seeking comments about its proposals from IT professionals.

The group also called for certification schemes to be developed for forensic investigators to increase the supply of staff qualified to investigate security breaches.

It wants to start a campaign to persuade suppliers to provide products with the security turned on by default. Suppliers should offer small firms ready-to-go security packages and low-cost security audits to help them protect their systems, Eurim said.

The paper urges the government to review computer crime law and strengthen the Computer Misuse Act to protect against denial of service attacks, and to implement past recommendations of the Law Commission on computer security.

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