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Thursday, August 30, 2012

UK Businesses Suffer from Cyber Crime

According to the British Retail Consortium, cyber crime is currently the biggest threat to online shops, indicating a need for a clearer analysis of e-crime.


British Retail Consortium has conducted a study, which showed that the effects of cyber crime on businesses are quite significant in direct cost and prevention, amounting at £205.4 million within 2011-2012. In the meantime, the most expensive form of cyber crime for businesses was personal identification related frauds, which incurred £20 million of losses, while card fraud caused £15 million losses and refund frauds were responsible for £1.2 million of losses.

In addition, the British Retail Consortium points at £111.6 million worth of business being rejected because of crime prevention measures. This may include honest customers who were deterred from Internet purchases because of extra security measures. This means that cyber crime is a very serious problem, especially for businesses which are not aware of the existing dangers.

The press release says that the government has its work cut out in the attempts to stem the wave of e-crime as online sales keep growing at double digit rates on a monthly basis, with criminals modernizing fraud techniques.

According to Cabinet Office statistics, the total cost of e-crime for the United Kingdom is £27 billion. However, this figure is vague, because it is usually very difficult to arrive at an exact figure when collating information on the issue.

Kaspersky Labs agrees that more is needed to be done in order to provide an accurate representation of the threat landscape. First of all, cyber crime is very hard to measure. That’s why it’s the task of the government to make sure that it’s measuring, and that there’s a reporting mechanism. In addition, figures like these sometimes get used to exaggerate the impact of something, so the businesses can get lost in the huge numbers.

Although £27 billion or £205.4 million is an easy number, unless someone brings it down to what the impact is to them, it starts to lose a bit of meaning. Another important thing is to raise the awareness of the businesses and how they are being affected by e-crime, because whatever the figure is for a particular business, that’s what is really meaningful.

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