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City of London sees 24% increase in reports of cyber crime

  • The City of London Police saw reports of cyber crime increase by 24% in six months
  • Email and social media hacking at the forefront of cyber crime impact on people and businesses in the Square Mile
  • Protect yourself - use a strong and separate password for each of your email accounts

The City of London Police, the national lead force for fraud which runs Action Fraud, has today [27 January 2019] revealed that reports of cyber crime in the City of London increased 24% from April to September 2018.

These new cyber statistics are based on 41 cyber crime reports that were made in the same six month period to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre. Of these reports, 76% were from businesses. In total, victims are estimated to have lost £2.4 million[1].

The statistics also show that at a loss of £1.8 million, hacking of email and social media accounts was the primary reason for people in the Square Mile reporting cyber crime to Action Fraud.

What are we doing?

The City of London Police, which is a founding member of the Global Cyber Alliance, has a designated Cyber Crime Unit which in May 2018, launched Cyber Griffin. This initiative aims to teach people the basics when it comes to protecting themselves online and increase their knowledge of the ways in which criminals can carry out cyber attacks, so we can ensure less attack attempts are successful in the first place.

Our experienced officers deliver free community-focused events to individuals and businesses within the City, which include basic threat briefings and more advanced incident response training.

Also, in 2016, Action Fraud launched its 24/7 cyber helpline for businesses, charities and organisations that are suffering a live cyber attack. In the event of a live cyber attack, Action Fraud’s helpline gives access to specialist advisors who can offer advice and support to businesses, charities or other organisations in reporting the attack. These reports are immediately sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), where they are assessed and sent to the relevant law enforcement agency.

Protect yourself

The key to protecting your business from cyber crime is to always install the latest software and app updates on your phone and computers so that you are safeguarded against malware. You should also make sure that you and your staff are aware of the signs to look out for in phishing emails and that you are using a strong, separate password for their account.

For further details on how to protect your business, the NCSC has developed the Small Business Guide to Cyber Security.

In June 2016 the UK Government published its policy that all UK government departments adopt DMARC, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. DMARC is simple to set up and helps other people know that email they receive from your domain is legitimate. The EU-CERT has also made a recommendation for the use of DMARC.

The Global Cyber Alliance also recommend using DMARC and have a free tool to help you get started with setting it up.

For protection advice based on the expertise of the National Cyber Security Centre and specifically targeted at protecting small businesses and individuals from cyber criminals, please visit Cyber Aware.

Detective Inspector Gary Robinson of the City of London Police said: “Cyber crime is a growing trend that has seen cyber reports in the City of London rise 24% in the last six months.

“As a force we work closely with individuals and businesses to tackle the unique cyber crime threats that affect the City. Our specially-trained officers lead regular free events all designed to improve people’s knowledge of cyber crime and how best to protect themselves. Our more advanced training can also ensure businesses have plans and procedures in place of the highest standard, to prevent cyber attacks before they happen.

“It is essential that people, and especially businesses, report incidents of cyber crime to Action Fraud so that we can build up a clear picture of the latest threats and the best advice on how to avoid falling victim.

“If you or someone you know believes they have fallen victim to cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud.”

[1] Total loss values are calculated from the amounts provided by victims when they report to Action Fraud and have not yet been verified.

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