Cybercrime ‘costs UK £27bn’

industry faces breach payout hellCybercrime costs the UK economy more than £27bn a year, according to the first joint Government and industry report into the extent and cost of cybercrime across the UK.
The study, by the Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance in the Cabinet Office and information intelligence experts Detica, shows business bears the lion’s share of the cost, estimated at £21bn. UK government loses £2.2bn, while consumers lose £3.8bn.
“The Cost of Cyber Crime” report reveals that, in all probability, the real impact of cyber crime is likely to be much greater.
The largest loss – of £9.2bn – comes from IP theft of trade secrets from UK firms. A further £7.6bn is lost due to industrial espionage and £2.2bn is handed to criminal gangs by UK firms as the result of extortion. The OCS admits it has no evidence for such extortion, because it believes this crime is mostly not reported.
Some £1bn a year is lost due to loss or theft of customer data and £1.3bn goes thanks to direct online theft. The figures are based on a “most-likely scenario” but will form the basis of future policy.
The OCS warned: “Our assessments are, necessarily, based on assumptions and informed judgements rather than specific examples of cybercrime, or from data of a classified or commercially-sensitive origin.”
It suggests approaching selected companies to ask if they are victims of cybercrime in order to both build awareness of the issues and to get some solid data on the problem.
The OCS also recommends the creation of a website to publicise the issue and to act as a central, anonymous, reporting hub for UK firms to report fraud.

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