Cyber Crime

Business and Cyber Crime are two areas that have become increasing problems not just locally but on a global scale. Along with the traditional threats to businesses such as shoplifting, businesses must now contend with the invisible threat to their online activity.

Warwickshire use the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) definition of business crime which defines a business crime as:

“Any criminal offence that is committed against a person or property that is motivated by the connection of that person or property to a business.”

When it comes to cybercrime, there are a variety of definitions that have been constructed and still some debate over a definition of substance. Warwickshire Police’s definition suggests that:

“An offence should be flagged as cyber-enabled where the reporting officer believes that on the balance of probability, the offence was committed, in full or in part, through a computer, computer network or other computer enabled device.”

Looking in more detail, the national adopted definition of cybercrime as of 7th October 2014 breaks down cybercrime into 3 categories:

  1. Cyber Dependent crimes, where a digital system is the target as well as the means of attack. These include attacks on computer systems to disrupt IT infrastructure, and stealing data over a network using malware (the purpose of the data theft is usually to commit further crime).
  2. Cyber Enabled Crimes. ‘Existing’ crimes that have been transformed in scale or form by their use of the Internet. The growth of the Internet has allowed these crimes to be carried out on an industrial scale.
  3. The use of the Internet to facilitate drug dealing, people smuggling and many other ‘traditional’ crime types.

To get an idea of the extent of the problem Warwickshire Observatory conducted a Survey in 2015 into Cybercrime. They found that 43.8% of people felt at risk online, 14.1% had been a victim of online crime in the previous 12 months and 31% of these had suffered financial loss. Moreover, according to HM Government, 60% of small businesses experienced some sort of cyber breach in 2014. PwC’s Information Security Breaches Survey (ISBS) suggests that this number could be 74% in 2015.

Sophos have put together a substantial list of threats in their Threatsaurus, which can be accessed from this link www.sophos.com, but some of the common threats include:

  • Denial of Service – A denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevents users from accessing a computer or website.
  • Keylogging – Keylogging is the process of secretly recording keystrokes by an unauthorized third party.
  • Phishing emails – Phishing refers to the process of deceiving recipients into sharing sensitive information with an unknown third party (cyber criminal).
  • Spam – Spam is unsolicited bulk email, the electronic equivalent of junk mail, that comes to your inbox.
  • Trojans – Trojans are malicious programs that pretend to be legitimate software, but actually carry out hidden, harmful functions.
  • Malware – Malware is a general term for malicious software. Malware includes viruses, worms, Trojans and spyware. Many people use the terms malware and virus interchangeably.
  • Viruses – Viruses are malicious computer programs that can spread to other files.

Warwickshire agencies are committed to tackling this problem through partnership working.

Advice regarding Business/Cyber Crime
When it comes to increasing your security online, there are a variety of sources of information which assist in doing this so that you can concentrate on running your business with peace of mind. Prevention is far better than reacting to the problem.

Cyber Streetwise – www.cyberstreetwise.com
Get Safe Online – www.getsafeonline.org
Sophos – www.sophos.com
Trading Standards – www.warwickshire.gov.uk and for advice exclusively on cybercrime visit www.tradingstandardsecrime.org.uk

Warwickshire County Council now have a Business Crime Advisor in post who is funded through the Police and Crime Commissioner who will be developing training packages, resources and acting as a single point of contact for businesses regarding business and cyber crime across Warwickshire. To contact Alex Williams, the Business Crime Advisor please email alexcharleswilliams@warwickshire.gov.uk or call 07920814897.

Reporting Business/Cyber Crime
If you have been or believe you have been a victim of Cyber Crime please report it directly to Action Fraud. This can be done by visiting www.actionfraud.police.ukor calling 0300 123 2040.
Action Fraud is not an emergency service, in case of an emergency please dial 999.

The downloadable PDF documents below provide a useful guide on how to stay safe on-line.

PDF LogoCyber Crime are you a victim? leaflet
PDF LogoGet Safe on-line leaflet