Metropolitan Police setting standards in the fight against cyber crime

For now, let us reflect on the good times.

The Metropolitan Police revealed at the start of the month that its Central e-Crime Unit saved the UK economy an astonishing £140 million in just the last six months alone.

With cyber crime costing the country a gargantuan £27 billion a year, its efforts –IT security professionals working in information risk management would agree – are to be applauded.

The ACPO National e-Crime Programme (NeCP), which received a hefty funding boost at the start of the year after the government realised that cyber security is increasingly pushing its way to the top of the list of threats to the UK’s safety and intelligence, is looking to be a frightening force.

That funding by the way, which came to a total of £30 million, has been money well spent. The NeCP is building a sophisticated, tech-savvy and committed team that signals a positive step forward in security. They aim to set standards of pre-eminence and then outperform themselves.

The positive thing is that it is focusing on some of the biggest threats to security going, like distribution of malicious code – aka malware – denial of service (DDoS) attacks and unwarranted computer intrusion.

Detective superintendent Charlie McMurdie, from the Police Central e-Crime Unit said: “The PCeU continues to take action in its continuing efforts to reduce the harm caused to the UK economy and to UK citizens by those making use of the internet to commit crime.”

Security breaches online for example, where many people are choosing to organise their professional lives, their personal lives, the conduit from which they interact and network with one another, statically or remotely, where personal details are passed over the internet highway, is on the rise and will be as prevalent as so-called “regular” crime.

That the government has recognised this and invested in it as well is a positive and proactive move, backed up by the machinery that is putting in place the mechanisms needed to combat rising levels of crime against individuals, businesses and the government itself.

If the Metropolitan Police’s recent successes is anything to go by, then cyber criminals, lurking behind encryptions and clever algorithms, “state-sponsored” criminals to organised crime gangs down to “spotty teenagers sitting in their bedrooms” as Detica’s Martin Sutherland so eloquently put it, are facing a new era of clampdowns.


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