Cybercrime is a giant problem

The first government report on cybercrime, released this week, says that cybercrime is costing Britain £27 billion every year, at a time when we can clearly ill afford it. The cost to business is a staggering £21 billion, made up of theft of intellectual property rights (IPR) – £9.2 billion, industrial espionage £7.6 billion, extortion £2.2 billion, online theft £1.3 billion and loss of data around £1 billion.

The cost to the public was £3.1 billion and to the Government £2.2 billion. There is also a fear that the actual figure is much worse than this as some companies are reluctant to admit to it for fear that it will damage their reputation. The worst-hit are our high technology innovative businesses.

Baroness Neville-Jones, Security Minister, stressed the importance of the Government working together with private security firms, believing that a spate of prosecutions is not necessarily the answer and citing the example of terrorism, where prosecution has not necessarily acted as a deterrent and respective Governments have worked with private agencies to combat the problems.

She believes that both state-sponsored and private companies and individuals are responsible. The call for greater cooperation with private security companies was welcomed by those companies, where Britain is thought to be a world leader.