Local government will be the next sector to be targeted by online criminals, Tony Neate, head of industry liaison at the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit’s (NHTCU), warned last week’s conference of local government IT managers.
“The problems for you are just the same as they are for industry. As council services and benefits go online they will attract attention from criminal gangs who have so far focussed on defrauding financial institutions, Neate said.
According to Neate, UK businesses lost £2.45bn to online crime in 2004. They lost £620m on financial fraud and £560m on denial of service attacks. One company suffered £40m of lost business from a distributed denial of service attack.
Neate repeated to Socitm delegates the NHTCU’s standard appeal for IT professionals to report to the police if their orgaisations have been targeted by e-criminals. Both the NHTCU and the e-crime units of local police forces would keep the identities of victims of e-crime secret even if doing so jeopardiseda separate criminal investigation, he pledged.
- Local authorities could improve their business continuity plans by including their IT directors in decision making, said Neate. “If they have an IT director on the board, their continuity is far better than when they have a finance director with responsibility for IT. Security works better from the top being pushed downwards.”