Cyber Crime – Responding to the Threat

Globally cyber crime is on the rise, 32% of instances have already been reported in 2016. This does not account for the unreported cases, where businesses or individuals feel the damage to their reputation, share price, employee morale and business and regulator relations, would be too severe if knowledge of a breach was discovered.

Threats to organisations which come under the banner of cyber crime can be quite broad and far reaching. These can include theft of data, severe disruption or reputational damage, cyber warfare and espionage. The organisations or individuals responsible can also be extremely varied, prompting businesses to protect across a broad spectrum. 

threat vectrs

Fortunately there are steps being taken to combat and counter the threat and repercussions of cyber crime. Just this month the EU and tech companies agreed to work together on the removal of hate speech to lessen its impact and reach on organisations and individuals. The heads of social media have agreed to remove all posts that contain hate speech within 24 hours. Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and You Tube have agreed to the European Union code of conduct which includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe. It is encouraging to see that both business and governments are working together, this will empower businesses to stand up to all types of cyber crime and be vocal in its elimination.

Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe, Karen White, commented: “Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter and we will continue to tackle this issue head on alongside our partners in industry and civil society.”

Vĕra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said,  “I welcome the commitment of worldwide IT companies to review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary.”

This is a strong, committed and positive step forward, ensuring that individuals and groups are not persecuted online, “the Commission and the IT Companies recognise that the spread of illegal hate speech online not only negatively affects the groups or individuals that it targets, it also negatively impacts those who speak out for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our open societies and has a chilling effect on the democratic discourse on online platforms.”


Industry and Governments are also working to improve how businesses protect themselves against cyber threats and attacks. The economic impact on businesses alone have prompted action. In a recent report by PwC, they estimate that the average cost of fraud to an organisation has increased from €498K in 2014 to €1.7m in 2016. Giving a business the tools to counter cyber crime is vital if this rising trend is to be stemmed.

There are controls that can be implemented within an organisation to help detect and counter, such as, IT and physical security (including 24/7 monitoring), fraud risk management, data analytics, and strong reporting and procedural policies. An organisation can also increase its resilience by choosing specific insurance that can be used in the event of a breach, particularly if financial loss is predicted.The British Government aims to make the UK a world centre for cyber security. There is still work to be done to educate businesses on the availability and importance of this, similarly there is work to be done within the insurance industry to ensure a variety of products are available to businesses that answers their specific needs.

Sarah Holland

Head of Information Security RiskEye

Sources : 

PwC 2016 Economic Crime Survey